Drivers could be forgiven for thinking they are on the Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms production set when they visit the AA Vehicle Inspection Centre in Nelson's Vanguard St.
During November, AA staff have been raising money for men's health and cancer awareness by growing all manner of facial hair or adorning themselves in pink makeup and pink accessories.
The Movember movement was formed to raise awareness of men's health, specifically prostate cancer and depression, by growing and styling facial hair. Those who sport a mo, goatee, or a simple soul patch are called Mo Bros.
The AA says the effort is an acknowledgement that most people know of someone or have themselves been brushed by cancer.
Manager Grady Stevens said he was delighted by the idea to support men's health, and is even happier to be able to hand over $1000 to the Nelson Region Hospice at the end of the month.
Mr Stevens said: "It's such a great cause and something that we all may face as we get older."
According to the Cancer Society, cancer is the leading cause of death in New Zealand, with 51 new cancer diagnoses and 22 deaths every day. Statistics state breast and prostate cancers are two the top three cancer killers of all Kiwis.
However, Mr Stevens said while it seemed like a good idea at the time, the novelty was wearing off as the constant itching was distracting. He said that he was also a little disturbed at the amount of grey that had come through and since growing the hair his wife had not been near him.
Steven Randle, a vehicle inspector, said he missed the morning kiss from his daughter before school and hoped it would return in December once the mo had been mowed.
On the face of it the Van Dyke goatee is the most popular - named after the famous 17th century Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyke. According to Mr Stevens, the Van Dyke goatee needed little attention or maintenance, just a quick trim around the edges to keep the cheeks clear of stubble.
One staff member had gone the "whole hog" and opted for the chopper style moustache and soul patch while another had dropped his goatee in favour of the Open all Hours character Arkwright's traditional moustache as it reminded him of home.
At the end of the month participants will be judged on application and style.
So whether it was a full breakfast-catcher, cheek choppers, or a chin tickler, an afternoon on full pay will be awarded to the best beard - all in a good cause.
- The Nelson Mail
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