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Growing the grass grin for good cause

Perry Cross, like many in Kahnawake, lost a family member to prostate cancer. For the second year in a row, Cross will let his upper lip sprout whiskers while he raises money for the cause. (Daniel J. Rowe, The Eastern Door)

Halloween night, the washcloths are out to clean face paint and makeup off after a night of disguise. While in the washroom, many men grab for their razors and finish their toiletries with a fresh shave before November 1.

Over the month, there are three goals: grow a quality mouth feeler, raise awareness of men’s cancer, and garner money to find a cure.

It’s Movember time.

Perry Cross’s father Raymond Cross passed away two years ago after battling cancer.

“My father had prostate cancer,” said the 58-year-old maintenance worker at Kateri School. “Right now, I’m worried that I might get it because it’s hereditary.”

Perry said his father hid his illness from him.

“I didn’t find out until he had passed that he did have it,” said Perry, who has nine siblings. “I knew something was wrong, but he never led on.”

Two of Cross’ brothers (Ray and Brian) have also passed away within the past six years.

Perry joined the Movember campaign last year and raised over $700. Those wanting to donate can search for his Movember page at

This year, he set a humble goal of $500, which he reached and past quickly.

“I get school-wide emails, and people are coming up to me congratulating me, and hoping for the best,” said Perry. “I just went over my goal today (Monday). I wasn’t expecting too much.”

At printing, Perry has raised $535, with promises of more.

It is not the first time Perry has raised money for cancer research. He and his partner, Carina Deere, participated in the Ride to Conquer from 2009-2012, raising over $10,000 each.

His reason for participating in both causes is simple.

“To give back,” said Perry. “Cancer is an issue in not just Kahnawake, but among the province, the country and the world…

I think everyone’s got a story. It affects everyone.”

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