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#GROWvember event raises funds

The University of Jamestown’s men’s basketball team attends the "Stache Bash" held by Jamestown Regional Medical Center. The team received the Best in Show award for most participants. Submitted photo

More than 40 people participated in Jamestown Regional Medical Center’s annual #GROWvember beard-growing competition. #GROWvember is a silly way to get the word out about a serious cause, said Dr. Robert J. Bates, JRMC’s urologist. Facial hair shows you care, he said, and opens the door to conversations about below-the-belt subjects like prostates, bladders and kidneys.

Men’s health below the belt can make a person squeamish, but ignoring symptoms can have a devastating effect.

“Silence can be our worst enemy. Talking about these issues and seeing a specialist are the necessary steps to below-the-belt health,” Bates said.

In celebration of those hairy conversations -- and faces -- JRMC held a Stache Bash on Nov. 27. Award recipients included:

  • All about the Beard, No Stubble – Kevin Windish
  • Baby Beard – Brock Schrom
  • How Dapper – Taylor James
  • Best Stasch – Ben Smith
  • Whiskerina – Jodi Thom
  • Cashiest “Stache” (most raised per category either team, individual or business) - Team: Jamestown High School; Individual: Dave Smette    
  • Best in Show (most participants as a team) – University of Jamestown – Danny Neville

Proceeds benefited the JRMC Cancer Center.

Misinformation about men’s health issues is abundant, Bates said, in part because it’s so private.

Important questions you “mustache” yourself: How often do you go to the bathroom? When you go, is it urgent? Do you have blood in your urine?

Various treatment options are available locally. Patients can self-refer, meaning they don’t have to visit their primary physician first. They can make an appointment directly at JRMC. That cuts down on embarrassing conversations, Bates said.

To learn more or donate, visit To schedule an appointment, call JRMC Urology at (701) 952-4878.