August 20, 2014

Local resident has raised ‘mo’ than $75,000 for cause

Rick McCreary will grow a ’stache again this month in campaign against prostate cancer

Rick McCreary has personally raised
more than $75,000 for the cause

Rick McCreary has personally raised more than $75,000 for the cause

Bay Street is a competitive place to begin with. As Rick McCreary can attest to, it becomes even more so when you add a compelling men’s health cause to the mix — oh yeah, and moustaches.

“Bankers have lots of bravado, so it was a good thing to capitalize on that bravado,” he says.

McCreary, a local resident, got involved in “Movember” through his former employer, CIBC. In 2009, his first year growing a ’stache to raise awareness and cash for Prostate Cancer Canada, he brought in roughly $30,000. Last year, after collecting nearly $50,000, he clinched the title of top Canadian fundraiser. Collectively, his work’s team raised more than $250,000.

“The success of my fundraising activities was due to a lot of support from mining clients and particularly those where it had affected them personally,” he says.

Although McCreary has since moved on to a new job, he is no less committed to the cause, with plans to fundraise again this year. His goal? To bring in as much cash as possible for Prostate Cancer Canada.

“I supported it because, one, it’s a very important cause,” he says. “It’s obviously an important cause for men’s health, and because it was a CIBC-sponsored initiative, it was something that obviously I felt was important.”

Movember, a phenomenon that started in Australia, is a campaign in the month of November that sees men grow their most impressive moustaches to create awareness around prostate cancer, all while fundraising for the cause. In Canada, the bulk of the money collected by participants goes to Prostate Cancer Canada, which supports public awareness, programs and research into prevention and treatment of the disease.

As McCreary points out, the inventive awareness strategy behind Movember has paid off.

“Obviously CIBC has lots of clients on Bay Street, with lots of guys going around with half-moustaches on, and it generated a buzz,” he says. “Then it turned into, effectively, a greater competition between the banks on Bay Street.”

Movember has grown considerably over the past couple of years, raising the profile of a pressing men’s health issue that might not otherwise get discussed.

While McCreary is aware of those with personal stories relating to prostate cancer, it’s not something that is always shared. “But when you start on a cause like that, you hit a good nerve with people,” he says. “And that’s what it was: it either affected them personally, their father … it has a genetic relationship and it affects generations of families.”

Others, he says, are simply happy to be able to get behind such an important men’s health issue.

McCreary is modest about his fundraising efforts and credits those who felt strongly about the cause and decided to support his personal campaign.

“I’m obviously very happy for the cause and happy for Prostate Cancer Canada, to be able to assist them,” he says.