Jordie Kirk with Canfor Radium and Katrina Dutkiewcz warm up inside Crazy Soles before stripping down and running through the frigid streets of Invermere on Sunday

OUR TOWN: Canfor moustache growers

Some hairy-lipped local Canfor employees are helping the company’s Movember fundraising team to be among the top in Canada.

Some hairy-lipped local Canfor employees are helping the company’s Movember fundraising team to be among the top in Canada.

Canfor has in the past typically competed with a number of divisional teams for Movember (one for the Kootenay region, one for the Prince George region, and so on), but this year the company has banded together into a single team and, as of The Echo’s press time, had raised more than $84,000 — the fourth highest amount of funding for a team in Canada and the 11th highest amount for a team in the world.

“It’s been pretty impressive. It’s been a really good run and it’s great to raise awareness for men’s health issues,” said Canfor First Nations and planning co-ordinator and Movember fundraising team leader Grant Neville, who is based in Cranbrook. He added that Canfor’s fundraising efforts are all the more impressive considering that the company-wide fundraising team — called the Canfor Crumb Catchers — has only 48 people, compared to CIBC’s team, which leads Canada and is second in the world with more than $183,000 raised, and has about 250 people.

The year’s campaign by Canfor got a huge boost when one of the company’s executive directors — Michael Korenberg — jumped into the efforts in a big way.

“He’s (Korenberg) been a big hitter, as soon as he joined the team, the donations really started pouring in,” said Invermere-based Canfor forestry analyst Jordie Kirk. “That’s when we decided to merge all the Canfor teams and see if we could take on CIBC.”

Korenberg, from Vancouver, has raised more than $50,000, the second most of any individual in Canada, and fourth most of any individual in the world. During Movember, teams or individuals collect donations to grow and then shave moustaches, with the funds raised going to men’s health issues, including mental health issues as well as physical health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer.

“It’s been pretty fun coming into work and seeing everybody’s moustache growing each day. It’s almost like a step back in time,” said Kirk, adding there’s still another week for donations to come in.

This year Movember began on November 1st and runs until December 9th.

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