Mike Layton's Movember
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Mike Layton’s Movember

The councillor talks about his Jack-inspired 'stache and the importance of prostate cancer awareness for men's health.

The evolution of Councillor Mike Layton's Movember 'stache, from November 1 to November 29.

“It’s straight across, and square at the sides. I call it the Classic Jack,” says Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina) of his moustache.

The name is in reference to his father, late NDP leader Jack Layton, who made the style a trademark. Councillor Layton, who wore a goatee in high-school and then a soul patch, insists he had no trouble growing his bushy, brown Classic Jack. He even visited a barber to have his facial hair groomed into the right shape. The effort is for Movember, an ever-growing movement to raise funds and awareness of men’s health, particularly prostate cancer.

“My father was involved in Movember, and I’m happy to carry the torch. The event means that much more, but I’m also doing it for another reason. It’s important that people know about this. I don’t think a lot of guys realize this is preventable. If caught early, it doesn’t need to be fatal,” says Layton.

This year, for the first time, Layton registered for a Mo Bro page on the official Movember Canada website.

More than 244,000 people are on the site, which is one of the most popular fundraising tools and a branch of Movember Worldwide. On his page, Layton has posted photos of himself and has joined a team and networks to increase support.

Layton’s team is “Moliticians,” a group of 37 politically involved men and women.

Their most prominent network is “Movember for Jack,” which comprises 608 members, including public figures from across the political spectrum like Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, Conservative MP for London West Ed Holder, and NDP MP for Sudbury Glenn Thibeault, along with other men and women inspired by the late politician. The Moliticians are also listed in the “Mo Sistas Canada” network, which has 207 members and supports women in the movement.

Kyle Iannuzzi, who once worked with Jack Layton’s widow, Olivia Chow, is running the “Movember for Jack” network.

Like Layton, he has taken extra care of his moustache—but he isn’t growing a Classic Jack.

“I have an emerging handlebar but would love to be able to accomplish a moustache with a twist at the end. I just think it’s out there. I like to be out there. It has to be a conversation piece that helps raise awareness,” Iannuzzi says.

Along with the councillor’s page, Movember for Jack is spreading the word through a Twitter account, @Mo4Jack, a Facebook page, and events including concerts in Toronto. The efforts have placed the network at ninth in Canada, with over $138,000 collected, and helped the site reach a staggering total of more than $30 million in donations with a day to go.

There’s still time to donate! Head to Movember Canada and give to your team of choice or make a general donation today before all the ‘staches disappear.

[Disclosure: Andrew Louis has provided occasional website development services, as an independent contractor, to several city councillors, including Mike Layton. While he shot the images in this piece, he did not propose the story or participate in the initial concept development.]