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Mo than just a ‘stache

The movement behind Movember

Sam Lawson, a civil engineering technology student, shows off his beard in the Johnson-Cobbe Energy Centre. Lawson has been cultivating his mane since September. (Photo by Parker Crook)

Sam Lawson, a civil engineering technology student, shows off his beard in the Johnson-Cobbe Energy Centre. Lawson has been cultivating his mane since September. (Photo by Parker Crook)

The weather in Calgary may be getting colder, but that’s not why men are starting to cover their upper lips with moustaches.

“Movember is great. It helps raise a ton of money for men’s health. I am not sure if everyone that participates really knows what’s going on, but at least theyíre having fun,” says Lee Palichuk, co-owner of Mammoth Beard Company.

Since 2003, November has come to be known as Movember. The campaign has a simple goal: to help maintain and educate people about men’s physical and mental health. 

The month-long event is held because, “it supports a number of different causes including cancer research,” said Sam Lawson, a civil engineering technology student at SAIT who has participated in the “mo-grow” in years past. 

The Movember Foundation was founded 13 years ago by Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, and has since funded more than 1,200 men’s health projects around the world.

The rules for Movember, developed by Garone and Slattery, are still in place to this day: to have fun, bring back the ‘stache and raise money for men’s health.

The campaign accepts all facial hair. It can be a beard, some scuff or a plain old mo: all moustaches of any size or shape are welcome.

“Awesome facial hair doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time. Take care of it. Use good quality oils, wax and soap,” adds Palichuck, a proud beard aficionado.

In preparation for the facial fuzz grow, Lawson said, “Washing [your beard] is underrated. You forget and it can get pretty nasty.”

“I did it last year. Always remember to moisturize. It can get dry,” said Jake Coulter, a SAIT business administration student. 

Norman Greer, an electrical student at SAIT, has never actively participated in Movember, but has donated to the cause. Based on Greerís experience, his best piece of advice is to “always use products.”

Participants in Movember, known as “Mo Bros” and “Mo Sistas,” raise money by getting friends and family to donate via their personalized “Mo Space” on the Movember website. 

The website states that funding for the charity comes from over 5 million participants across 21 countries, who have raised $750,914,500 to date.

By 2030, Movember hopes to reduce the number of men dying prematurely from prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide by 25 per cent.

The foundation is not only working on raising money for men’s physical health, there is also the goal of getting men to talk about mental health issues and encouraging them to use the support systems available. No one needs to suffer in silence.

However, while these goals are admirable and need to be supported, the message of Movember is often lost to style. While there are millions of participants, a number of people don’t know what Movember is about some think it’s just a cool excuse to grow some ironic facial hair.

So do your best to support Movember, but remember it’s not just about growing a Burt Reynolds ‘stache—the issues of mental and physical health are even more important.

Rock the moustache and spread the word. Grow a mo, save a bro.

Movember Timeline: Worldwide Involvement 

*Totals are cumulative since 2003
** Currency is in CAD

Year: 2003
Mo Bros and Sistas: 480
Amount raised: $50,468
Projects funded: 6

Year: 2004
Mo Bros and Sistas: 9,795
Amount raised: $1,071,191
Projects funded: 6

Year: 2005
Mo Bros and Sistas: 65,924
Amount raised: $9,480,037
Projects funded: 29

Year: 2006
Mo Bros and Sistas: 200,095
Amount raised: $28,492,397
Projects funded: 73

Year: 2007
Mo Bros and Sistas: 373,530
Amount raised: $53,075,165
Projects funded: 152

Year: 2008
Mo Bros and Sistas: 629,252
Amount raised: $95,918,316
Projects funded: 254

Year: 2009
Mo Bros and Sistas: 1,077,060
Amount raised: $167,567,224
Projects funded: 354

Year: 2010
Mo Bros and Sistas: 1,931,348
Amount raised: $296,024,935
Projects funded: 511

Year: 2011
Mo Bros and Sistas: 3,058,500
Amount raised: $442,592,673
Projects funded: 581

Year: 2012
Mo Bros and Sistas: 4,027,688
Amount raised: $574 million
Projects funded: 770

Year: 2013
Mo Bros and Sistas: 4,746,905
Amount raised: $677 million
Projects funded: 832

Year: 2014
Mo Bros and Sistas: 5,232,625
Amount raised: $759 million
Projects funded: 1,200

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