The North Saanich Fire Department raised more than $38,000 for the nation-wide Great Canadian Fire Challenge, a Movember initiative tackling men’s mental health, suicide prevention, prostate and testicular cancer. The team came out as the top fundraiser, ahead of Toronto and Edmonton fire departments. (Courtesy of Eric Keating)

The North Saanich Fire Department raised more than $38,000 for the nation-wide Great Canadian Fire Challenge, a Movember initiative tackling men’s mental health, suicide prevention, prostate and testicular cancer. The team came out as the top fundraiser, ahead of Toronto and Edmonton fire departments. (Courtesy of Eric Keating)

North Saanich Fire Department wins national Movember challenge

Team raises more than urban Edmonton, Toronto firefighters

A dedicated team of moustached firefighters from North Saanich raised more money for men’s health this fall than any other fire department in the country.

The North Saanich Fire Department raised a whopping $38,130 for the Great Canadian Fire Challenge, a Movember fundraiser helping to raise money and awareness for men’s mental health, prostate and testicular cancer.

RELATED: North Saanich firefighters keep pace with major Canadian cities in Movember fundraising challenge

The Peninsula-based team, from a community with just 11,200 residents, came out on top of major fire department teams including Toronto, which raised $32,161.33, Burlington, which raised $16, 952 and Edmonton, which raised $15, 572.

On Nov. 21, team captain Eric Keating told Black Press Media the team was shooting to raise at least $20,000. Just over three weeks later, the North Saanich Fire Department had nearly doubled its goal.

Keating says he wasn’t expecting the team to raise so much.

“We’re super fired up and pretty blown away by the community support that we got,” he says. “I think because it’s a smaller community, people are more in tune and more connected. There’s less hustle and bustle, they take the time to reach out.”

READ ALSO: Welcome to mustache season: Movember begins

Keating says donations came in from local businesses, organizations and individuals. The highest fundraiser, Josef Olsen, raised more than $7,000 all on his own.

“I think it’s also the fact that we’re a volunteer department,” Keating says. “The community appreciates what we do, that we get up in the middle of the night to help.”

Keating says the causes – cancer and mental health – are also close to the hearts of the first responders.

“[Mental health] affects everybody and it’s something we really felt was important,” he says, adding that he hopes to include more teams in an even larger fundraising effort in 2020. “We’re excited and we’re gonna step it up next year.”



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after cancellations on Friday due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich police seek suspect after woman nearly robbed while getting out of vehicle

Incident occurred before 7 a.m. Feb. 17 in parking lot off Cordova Bay Road

Saskatoon resident liajah Pidskalny poses with his bike near the University of Victoria after putting on thousands of kilometres to raise awareness of the overdose and mental health crisis. (Courtesy Iliajah Pidskalny)
Saskatoon cyclist winds up mental health and overdose awareness ride in Victoria

Iliajah Pidskalny braves prairie winter conditions to get word out to communities

Gabriel Swift, 23, is one of three Victoria filmmakers chosen to receive $20,000 Telus Storyhive grants to produce Local Heroes documentaries. (Courtesy of Gabriel Swift)
Three Victoria filmmakers producing ‘local heroes’ documentaries with $20,000 grants

Telus Storyhive providing $20,000 to 40 Western Canada productions

Goldstream Food Bank president Gayle Ireland is the Goldstream Gazette’s 2021 Local Hero as Community Volunteer of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Two-week stint at Goldstream Food Bank turns into 35 years of volunteer service

Goldstream Food Bank’s Gayle Ireland is the 2021 Community Volunteer of the Year

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

Most Read