Dr. Mark Dickson’s Movember moustache this year was truly epic.
Epic enough to win second overall in the 2020 Global Movember Awards, ‘The Epic One’ category.
“I shared the link with some of my close friends on Facebook,” said Anna Dickson, Mark’s wife, who nominated him after finding the awards on the Movember website.
Not long after, Anna was notified by a Movember digital editor from the United Kingdom that Mark was at the top of the leaderboard. The Dicksons were asked to provide a video that could be used on Movember social media before the polls closed.
“All in all, it was a pretty exhilarating experience,” she said. “It was a very, very close race.”
The Tillsonburg chiropractor was eventually edged out by Rahim Shamji from about 175 entries.
“He (Shamji) definitely deserved it,” said Mark, noting the winner had raised more than $40,000 for Movember over the past 13 years. “He’s Canadian, so that’s a good feeling in itself…
“But being so close,” Mark added with a laugh.
“Got to start somewhere,” Anna smiled. “Second place is not a bad place to start.”
“I never imagined that growing a moustache would eventually become this big for us, for my family, for even Tillsonburg… for raising funds for men’s health,” said Mark. “I definitely want to thank all of the supporters over the years.”
The Global Movember Awards have seven categories in total including ‘The First One’ and ‘The Salt and Pepper One.’ This year’s winners came from the UK, Australia (where Movember originated almost 20 years ago), the United States, and Canada.
“It’s going to be hard to think of what to do next,” he said, looking ahead to 2021, “and thinking of different ways of promoting myself.”
His ‘frosted tips’ moustache, named after the photo Anna submitted for the global awards, was finally shaved off on Saturday.
“It’s been a long time since I haven’t had any hair on my upper lip,” he laughed.
Mark first joined the Movember cause (ca.movember.com) in 2015, raising awareness and funds for men’s health, which includes prostate cancer research, testicular cancer research and suicide prevention.
This year he raised $4,000, bringing his six-year total to $13,928. It was the most he raised in a single year, topping $2,500 from 2019 and just over $3,000 in 2018.
“This was quite a jump.”
And it was an unexpected jump during a COVID-19 year, said Anna, noting the pandemic has affected charities. It also limited Mark’s normal in-person interactions with service clubs and committees he serves on.
“Year after year the momentum has been building,” said Mark.
Some people have been donating all six years, some donated for the first time. It’s a community effort for Dickson, who thanked all of the donors.
He recalled a who, after learning about his Movember moustache, donated $20 the next day.
“She said, ‘I really love what you are doing, I’m really happy that you’re supporting men’s health, and we can kind of work together to help raise more funds.’ It was a really special moment for me.”
Three years ago Unifor Local 1859 learned of his Movember efforts, and on Sunday he received his third Local 1859 donation, which (combined) has surpassed $1,000.
“That’s been fantastic.
“Domino’s Tillsonburg has also been very giving within the past several years as well.
“Another special shout-out to Noah Marshall, a local teenager. He created his own business making decorative crayons, melting crayons to make different shapes and designs for people. He gave me 50% of his proceeds because he made little crayon moustaches. Getting youth involved with charity, helping for a common good, was really a special moment as well.”
“It’s so heart-warming to witness that here in 2020, which has not been a very giving year for anyone,” said Anna, “people realizing that charities such as Movember still have needs and reason for support. Just to see the community’s outreach and people contributing small sums and large sums, it was just heart-warming, a real highlight of the year us as a family.”