Showing off the mo . . . Copyfast staff members Gary Lyons (left) and Nathan Kippenberger display the moustache stickers that can be put on masks to support awareness of men's health. PHOTO: HELEN HOLT

by Helen Holt

With Movember moustache-growing efforts concealed under ever-present masks, three Timaru men have manufactured a solution.

The three Copyfast staff -Nathan Kippenberger, Chris Stringer and Gary Lyons are selling moustache stickers for face masks to raise money for the cause.

The trio have been growing their facial hair throughout the year, and hope to have a public shave-off next month.

Mr Kippenberger had planned to enter the national moustache competition in Auckland, but after the event was cancelled due to lockdown, he decided to fundraise locally instead.

He has previously participated in the Ti-mo-ru soapbox derby, but this year’s event has been postponed until March.

Mr Kippenberger said the sticker made up for the fact that no-one could see his bushy mo underneath the mask.

“The sticker is good as a bit of a warning.”

Mr Kippenberger hadn’t done Movember for three or four years, so he wanted to hit it hard this year.

“The moustache is a good way to start a conversation about men’s health.

“We did start fundraising a bit late in the picture, so we’re hoping to hit it hard for the next week and a bit.”

Mr Kippenberger was inspired to participate, after a confronting health experience when he was 26.

“I had blood in the toilet, but it took me about six months to go and get it checked.

“I was fearful it could be prostate or bowel cancer.

“I finally picked up the courage to see the doctor, and was referred to a specialist.

“They found out I had polyps .. I also discovered I had stomach ulcers.”

He had been suffering acid reflux for a long time.

“I thought something was seriously wrong and it turned out not to be,” he said.

“After that experience, I’m a lot more open to talking about my health.

“While it can be scary, you’ve still got to confront it to look after yourself.”

Mr Stringer said he was participating in Movember to encourage more conversations about mental health.

“People don’t talk about mental health enough. Men are often afraid to speak out.”

He also wanted to support cancer awareness, after the death of his uncle earlier this year.

Mr Lyons said he got involved in Movember to support his colleagues.

“I’ve done all the blokey things I could think of. I’ve grown a moustache, had a colonoscopy, and had a hernia operation.”

The stickers were designed by Mr Stringer and printed on-site.

They come in a variety of styles, and can be bought for a coin donation.

His design also featured on cars at the South Island Endurance series in Cromwell last month.

The men had raised more than $1000 as of Monday, and hope to reach at least $1500 by the end of the month.