Fresh off painting the town pink for the annual October breast cancer fundraiser, the Cinnaminson Fire Department, Cinnaminson Police Department and members of the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department are holding their annual Movember fundraiser this month.
The Movember Foundation is a global organization dedicated to spreading awareness about men’s health issues. According to its website, men are dying too young and fathers, brothers, partners and friends face health crises not often spoken about.
“The Cinnaminson Fire Department and the Cinnaminson Police Department are joining together to bring awareness to the problem by growing facial hair,” said firefighter Lee Parks. “We have been doing it for about eight years, and this year we are hosting an event to bring more awareness to it.”
“Men are dying too young,” Parks added. “The three leading causes of death for middle-aged men are prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide.”
Parks said the fire and police departments decided to do the Movember fundraiser because they also wanted to bring awareness to health issues men face. Breast cancer awareness is something the fire department has been heavily involved in because of its prevalence but also because it has affected the organization personally. Movember brings awareness to issues that could and have affected members of the fire department as well.
“It’s very important to get the message out about middle-age men dying too young,” Parks noted. “We want to encourage men to talk about their health, physically and mentally. We hope that people will see members of the fire and police departments that don’t usually grow hair and ask why their facial hair is the way it is.
“It will start the conversation.”
While Cinnaminson has raised funds and awareness about men’s health for the last eight years, many Burlington townships have also started their own Movember event. This year, Burlington County Acting Sheriff Diane Jassmann and Undersheriff Michael Ditzel have approved their officers’ participation in their 4th annual Movember Challenge.
The Burlington County Explorer Post 150 will donate half of the money raised from the challenge to the Becky Beard Foundation. Becky’s Beard Unit was founded in November of 2015 in memory of Rebecca “Becky” Scott, a paramedic with Virtua EMS and a Cinnaminson first responder who died of breast cancer.
To donate to the Cinnaminson Fire Department’s Movember fundraiser, visit the website us.movember.com/team/2238104. Donations for the Burlington County Police Explorer Post 150 for the challenge can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.