Final sum: Dare to Flash A ‘Stache campaign flashes $11,729 tally

In upper photo, Jennifer Van Noort, the Ottawa Hospital Foundation’s Vice President, Philanthropy and Leadership Giving (left side of cheque) receives her institution’s share of the proceeds generated by the recent Dare to Flash a ‘Stache campaign in the North Dundas area. In lower photo, Winchester District Memorial Hospital Chair Mike Villeneuve and the WDMH Foundation’s Cindy Peters stand on either side of their institution’s equal share of the proceeds. Members of the Eastern Ontario Prostate Awareness Committee also pose in both photos. Zandbergen photos, Nation Valley News

NORTH DUNDAS — The moustaches grew in November, and the charitable harvest was reaped this week in Winchester.

Organizers of the annual ‘Dare to Flash A ‘Stache’ campaign — the Eastern Ontario Prostate Awareness Committee — announced a final campaign total of $11,729 at a cheque handover event Jan. 21 at Cup of Jo’s. The sum represents the pledges collected by 13 moustache growers in November plus additional donations received through the month of December.

Proceeds were split between the fundraising foundations of the Winchester District Memorial Hospital and the Ottawa Hospital. Both institutions are involved in the treatment and care of local men with prostate cancer; WDMH’s share will go into its Cancer Care Navigator program, while Ottawa — already armed with a state-of-the-art robot used in prostate surgery — will plow the funds into further prostate cancer research.

“We want to do the event again next year, and we feel there are ways we can raise more money,” said Tom Clapp, member of the Committee and the affiliated Black Walnut Support Group (so named for the prostate’s walnut-like appearance).

“We also appreciate the hospital for doing its free PSA-testing event,” added Clapp, referring to the blood tests offered by WDMH at no charge, to men during the Saturday of Dairyfest. The non-invasive PSA test — an important diagnostic tool for catching early changes in the prostate related to potential cancer in the organ — is otherwise not funded  by OHIP.

“This community … for the volume of people, people come together, it’s just unbelievable,” observed WDMH Chair Mike Villeneuve.

“I can’t imagine not being here,” said Jennifer Van Noort, the Ottawa Hospital Foundation’s Vice President, Philanthropy and Leadership Giving, on her attendance that evening despite the frigid conditions outside. “I am among friends and family in some regards, and so it is a great privilege … to witness what we are doing in terms of a partnership with the Ottawa Hospital and the Winchester Hospital.

“The reality is, the patients that we care for are the same patients. It takes a village to care for men and women and families facing prostate cancer.”

Joanne Henry, an executive member of the Ottawa Ride for Dad, couldn’t attend but commended the group in a social media post read aloud by Doug Nugent, a local member of the Eastern Ontario Prostate Awareness Committee. “She said, ‘If you’re looking for information about prostate cancer, this is one of the most warm, welcoming bunch of people you’ll meet on this cold night,'” a smiling Nugent relayed. “So that says a lot for our community.”

In related news, organizers happily reported that the annual Ride for Dad will have a second, new stop in North Dundas this year.  Not only will hundreds of riders gather again at the Winchester Arena to conclude their event, the Morewood Community Centre will also welcome the bikes earlier in the day with a Poker Stop. From there, the participants will again head down through Chesterville, past the Art on the Waterfront festivities always taking place that Saturday as well.



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