Writers Caleb Caswell and Ramona Korpan offer their take on North of Lipsky and the month of Movember
If there were three things that could summarize North of Lipsky’s third Annual Movember fundraiser event, they would be Frank Sinatra, a well cut suit and, of course, moustaches.
Of all shapes and thicknesses, colours and styles, ranging from pre-pubescent to Cuban dictator.
But no matter the quality of fur on their philtrum — women included — every attendant’s contribution helped in raising over $50,000, more than doubling North of Lipsky’s end-of-month goal.
Attendee Hersh Gupta and North of Lipsky Member Desmond West-Chow (photo courtesy of Ng Yoface Photography)
North of Lipsky, a cohort of eight mustachiosos currently ranked second in both Canada and the world for Movember teams under ten members, partnered together to raise money for prostate cancer research under the Movember umbrella. Alec Heffernan, a core member and organizing force of the group, remembers approaching one of his co-captains, Sonny Sekhon, the first year they decided to throw the event.
“I told him I wanted to grow a moustache, wear a tux, eat pizza and drink beers with buds to raise money for Movember," says Heffernan. "I launched into why we should do it, how we would do it, and why it was important. Just as I was gaining momentum he cut me off. All he said was ‘you had me at moustache.’”
A calm moment for speeches (photo courtesy of Ng Yoface Photography)
While the beer has remained (Steamwhistle provided the event with 200 bottles of the brown stuff), the frat-party feel has made way for gowns, glitter and gold, as well as some local celebrities, such as Nashville-recorded singer-songwriter Lauren Gillis, Mercer building project manager Devin Pope, and Oil City Hospitality partner Mike Sainchuk.
All of this to say that with nights such as these, it’s unfortunate that our careers, girlfriends and wives don’t allow for a little more moustache all year round.
Attendee Erin Harms finds the Movember spirit (photo courtesy of Let's Reminisce photography)
Two things occurred at North of Lipsky that would never happen anywhere else: One was that moustaches began growing on women. Not literally, but in the sense that many confessed to hating moustaches a little less than when they came in. The second was that a crowd of beautiful women in their finest cocktail attire were completely upstaged by a bunch of hairy-faced men.
The latter was especially peculiar, because, let’s face it, women are used to being the center of attention. We paint our faces just to leave the house. We basically roll ourselves in glitter for nights on the town. And between breast cancer, ovarian cancer and social equality, we even dominate the world of worthy causes.
But being a woman during Movember is a jarring reminder that men’s health, and their faces, require attention too. At events like North of Lipsky, no amount of effort — not to mention diamonds, hair extensions and stilettos — could make us as visible as our male counterparts.
So this is what men feel like at Run for the Cure, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes and, well, life.
Despite some initial shock over being relegated to supporting-act status, North of Lipsky turned out to be a great reminder that there is enough concern to go around. A prostate saved is not a breast lost, and if it means potentially saving the lives of the men we love, there’s nothing wrong with taking the backseat for a night. And when paired with the right suit and tie, and perhaps a bottle or two of Steamwhistle, moustaches don’t look so bad after all.
(photo courtesy of Let's Reminisce Photography)