Lose your knickers and raise awareness

While most men have been primping their moustaches for “Movember” this month, others are preparing to strip down to their skivvies for the annual #nakedespy event at the Inglewood-based unisex apparel store espy.

Entering its third year, #nakedespy was started by espy owner Megan Szanik, as a cheeky way to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

After her father was diagnosed with the disease, Szanik decided to combine her love of fashion with her desire to get the local community together to raise money.

“[It’s a] fun, charitable event to raise money for the place that all of our dads, brothers, husbands, and boyfriends will go if they are diagnosed,” said espy marketing co-ordinator Tianna Stevenson.

The result was #nakedespy.

On the day of the event, men line up outside the store in their underwear.

The first 100 guys in line to donate $100 receive $500 worth of clothing from the store, which features premium labels including Fidelity, GSUS, Bjorn Borg and more.

“It’s a traffic stopping kind of event,” said Stevenson.

“The point is to raise awareness about the importance of getting checked. And what better way to do that then ask a bunch of guys to get (almost) naked?” said Stevenson.

Billy Romeike participated in last year’s event and is eager to strip down to his unmentionables once again this year.

“It supports a great cause and I can participate without having to grow a cheesy moustache,” said Romeike.

“The free clothes are nice too, but really it’s just an opportunity for me to get naked in public.”

Last year, #nakedespy raised more than $9,200 and saw special local guest Brett W. Wilson, who happens to be a prostate cancer survivor, as well as players from the Calgary Stampeders football team in their underwear.

This year, Stevenson hopes to see the event raise at least $15,000, but believes that the true value of the event lies in raising awareness.

“If stylish clothing and guys in their undies can raise awareness for prostate cancer and encourage men to get tested, then it’s a success.”

For more information, and details about the #nakedespy events, visit their site.

About Sarah Sussman 4 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Sarah Sussman worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2012-2013 academic year.