North Saanich Fire Department tops in country in Movember Challenge

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Watch Movember is almost over and North Saanich Fire's raised more 'mo' money than any other department in the country. Tess van Straaten reports

The North Saanich Fire Department isn’t very big.

All their firefighters but three are volunteers but they’re on “fire” when it comes to fundraising.

“We’ve got all sorts of people pulling into the hall we haven’t talked to in years and wanting to drop off money,” explains North Saanich firefighter Kurt Barner.

North Saanich is tops in the country in the Great Canadian Fire Challenge.

Their team has raised more than $30,000 for men’s health — beating out much larger departments like Toronto and Edmonton.

“I think it’s pretty outstanding that a population of just under 12,000 people in the district with 26 on the Movember team, it really shows a small community can band together,” says North Saanich volunteer firefighter Eric Keating.

North Saanich isn’t just number one in the country for most money overall.

It also has the top two individual fundraisers in the entire country on its Movember team.

“My original goal was $200 and I thought that was a stretch,” explains North Saanich volunteer firefighter Joey Olsen, who’as raised more than any other firefighter in Canada in the challenge. “I’m not much of a mustache grower myself and I’m just under $6,000.”

“I lost my dad a few years ago to cancer,” adds Barner, who is number two in the country. “So any opportunity to fundraise and raise some money.”

But it hasn’t been easy sprouting a stash.

“It’s horrible, it’s absolutely horrible!” Keating says. “Waking up and trimming it and keeping it clean. Her name is Steve.”

Not only has Eric named his stash, he also has a second one on the back of his head.

So is there a secret to growing a luscious mustache?

“A well-balanced diet, protein, omegas,” advises Keating. “I push really hard.”

“A little bit of Just for Men,” adds Olson. “I think I’ve died it three times because it keeps getting blond at the roots. It’s the opposite of frosted tips.”

It seems to be working, raising more mo money than anyone else in the challenge.

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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