In the month of November, students, staff and faculty at Wadena-Deer Creek schools participated in Movember by wearing fake mustaches, finger tattoos and bracelets to raise awareness for prostate cancer as well as donate funds to the Craig Klawitter Memorial Fund. Each Friday, students could purchase the items from fourth grade teacher Scott Woods, with mustaches and tattoos for $1 and bracelets for $2. With $700 raised, future projects will be completed in remembrance of Klawitter.
“Each year it seems to take off a little more. This all happens because the staff here is so awesome about supporting it in one way or another. They should get a lot of the credit,” Woods said in an email.
While Movember is an international organization that supports men’s health by growing mustaches in November, WDC keeps the focus local and personal by honoring WDC science teacher and coach Klawitter who passed away in 2015 after battling cancer. One of the previous projects included a bird feeder station by the high school greenhouse to remember his enjoyment of bird watching. The donations from this year will help increase the fund, with a possible idea being a memorial plaque by the science department, according to WDC communications coordinator Dana Cantleberry.
The Movember movement at WDC began in 2016. Woods said he got involved because of knowing family members and “so many people (who) have dealt with (cancer) in one form or another.” With staff members willingly joining the movement, including growing mustaches or beards, students learn the importance of cancer awareness.
“Getting the kids involved helps them understand this is something to be aware of for a lifetime,” Woods said in an email.
Movember is an international organization that hopes “to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health,” according to their website. The organization began in Australia in 2003 with a desire to raise awareness about prostate cancer and men’s health as well as start the return of mustaches. Since then, Movember has grown to include awareness of testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention with official campaigns in 21 countries. In 2018, $18.4 million was raised in the United States.