From left: Kale Howarth

From left: Kale Howarth

Trail Smoke Eaters mustache up to fight cancer

The Trail Smoke Eaters and Canadian Cancer Society team up to raise funds and awareness in its annual Growvember campaign.

  • Nov. 24, 2016 9:00 a.m.

Fans and players will be sporting moustaches this Friday when the Trail Smoke Eaters skate hard to raise funds and awareness for men’s cancer research.

The team is giving full proceeds from a puck toss and donating $1 from every ticket sold to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Children under 12 are free and encouraged to come out and try a fake ‘stache on for size. Moustache trivia, prizes and cancer awareness messaging will bring this hairy event together for a night locals don’t want to miss.

“The Smokies have raised the bar on the Society’s annual Grow-vember campaign, where men across the Southern Interior pull out their best ‘stache for a good cause,” says Valerie Rossi, Annual Giving Coordinator.

Players started this month clean shaven and have been growing their moustaches in since. The hair-raising campaign – Grow-vember – has the team tracking not only their personal hair growth but funds raised for their efforts.

“The Smokies are leading the Society’s Grow-vember challenge locally and taking their efforts one step further by dedicating this game to bringing men’s health, in particular prostate and colorectal cancer, to the forefront,” added Rossi. “The fact remains that prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Canadian men.”

In 2016, it’s estimated that approximately 21,600 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and about 4,000 will die from the disease, according to the Society’s newly released 2016 cancer statistics.

Craig Clare, Director of Hockey and Business Operations for the Trail Smoke Eaters says “the Trail Smoke Eaters are proud to team up with the Canadian Cancer Society for this event and help raise awareness for men’s health.”

The event is the first of its kind to roll out since the purchase of the Smokies, and signals a future of community-driven partnerships.

Those interested in joining the hair-raising movement or supporting the team, can visit to access the Southern Interior Grow-vember Challenge.  The online fundraising page allows anyone to make a contribution toward men’s health designated cancer research projects via credit card on the secure site.

Donations will also be collected on site at the arena, when the crowd will be asked to judge the players hair growth to date.

Sonja Ratson, owner of Noble Shear barber salon in Trail, will also be there offering head shaves by donation. The new business owner (located in the Wolf’s Den in East Trail, 250-364-1977) is raising awareness through social media. During the first week of December, she’s also welcoming customers to come in and shave that ‘stache (or stubble) and sample a straight blade shave on their upper lip by donation – proceeds will go to men’s cancer research.

For further information, please call Rossi at 250-364-0403 or email her at Please like the West Kootenay Boundary Canadian Cancer Society Facebook page to stay connected to the local Society office.

Why join the hair-growing movement?

Statistics for B.C. make that very clear.

In 2016:

•An estimated 3,300 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer

•An estimated 1,800 men will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer

In 2016:

•An estimated 560 men will die of prostate cancer

•An estimated 670 men will die of colorectal cancer

Thanks to generous donations, research and improved treatments over the years, the death rates for both cancers have been declining (Prostate by 3.1 per cent per year between 2003 -2012 and colorectal by 2.3  per cent per year between 2004 -2012)


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