Foundation encourages men to grow moustaches in November to raise awareness for men’s health issues
If all goes according to plan next month, Geraldo Rivera, John Stossel, and Ned Flanders will all find their lip-brows well within the mainstream.
In an effort to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer, The Movember Foundation is encouraging men worldwide to grow moustaches this November, or Movember as the foundation is renaming the month. And if last year is any indication hundreds of thousands will participate.
The month-long celebration is still relatively new to America. In 2003, several Australians hatched the idea over drinks in Melbourne. While that first year the event did not raise money, the following year participants raised $55,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. From there, the event exploded internationally, reaching America’s shores in 2007.
Adam Garone, one of the co-founders of Movember told The Daily Caller that he and his friends started off with just a small idea. “Over a few beers we were talking about men’s fashion and how everything manages to cycle back into style and then the conversation turned to bringing them back, and after a few more beers we set down the challenge to bring the moustache back,” he said.
“The rules are simple, start Movember 1st clean-shaven and then grow a moustache for the entire month,” the campaign’s website reads. “The moustache becomes the ribbon for men’s health, the means by which awareness and funds are raised for cancers that affect men. Much like the commitment to run or walk for charity, the men of Movember commit to growing a moustache for 30 days.”
Men can register their moustache at us.movember.com, where friends and family can donate money in support of their efforts and the cause. In America, proceeds from the event will go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG.
Last year, Movember had more than 255,755 participants and raised $42 million from more than a million donors.
Dan Zenka, vice president of communications for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, told TheDC that the movement’s expansion has been dramatic. “As a global movement it really has grown,” he said. “This is its fourth year in the U.S. and it is still growing — no pun intended. But it is a fun and quirky way to [get the attention] of a younger generation of men.”
According to Zenka, in its first three years in the United States it has raised $2.3 million to support prostate cancer research. The goal this year is $2 million.
“When we look at Movember and how it has grown from a few guys wanting to grow a moustaches kind of for fun and then to raising money for prostate cancer and then now they really have a mission of education and awareness, promoting research and helping LIVESTRONG,” Chris Brewer, LIVESTRONG senior manager, cancer survivor and Movember participant, told TheDC.
Brewer said that Lance Armstrong, seven time Tour De France champion and testicular cancer survivor, would also be participating.
“Its just so visual, so when somebody walks into the office or into the gym and people ask, ‘well, what’s that, why did you do that?’” Zenka said, explaining the staches’ effectiveness as a conversation starter.
“Thanksgiving, you get stories of people talking to their fathers. He asks about the moustache and then they end up encouraging them to go get the appropriate prostate screening,” Brewer said.
Garone’s goal this year is to raise $55 million worldwide.