Heard of the Movember movement? Each November, hundreds of thousands of men get their hair growin' on and sport a 'stache in support of men's health. It's a fun way to address a serious issue and raise money for an important cause. The donated dollars are used to support groups such as the Prostate Cancer Foundationand LIVESTRONG. Even ladies can get in on the action by becoming “Mo Sistas” and collecting donations on behalf of their mo-growing bros.We caught up with Movember founder Adam Garone to get the scoop on the upper lip November situation. He filled us in on the idea behind the movement and dished on his favorite mustache-themed puns.
Tell us a little about how the Movember movement got started.
Movember started in Melbourne, Australia, back in 2003. My brother and a friend were chatting about past fashion trends and why certain ones—like the moustache—hadn’t come back into style. They decided to bring the Mo (Aussie slang for moustache) back, so that year 30 guys grew for the 30 days of November, and called it Movember.
By 2004, amazed by the fun we had and the countless conversations sparked by the moustache, four of the original 30 participants, including myself, made our Mo-growing a charitable endeavor by adding an important cause – prostate cancer. That year, 450 guys grew moustaches, raising $43,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
Has the “Mo Sistas” idea been successful, and are many women participating?
Women are very important to the Movember campaign. Mo Sistas get involved in the same way as Mo Bros, except they don’t have to grow a Mo. They register at Movember.com, start a team, recruit the men in their lives to participate, donate, fundraise, and plan and participate in events.
Mo Sistas are often the household CEOs of their family’s health—booking doctor’s appointments, encouraging check-ups, and taking care of family members when they are sick. They play a critical role in men’s health!
How much money is typically raised each November for the cause?
Last year, we were honored to have 855,203 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas participate from across the globe, raising $126.3 million for men’s health. The US campaign saw more than 145,000 Americans growing and supporting the Mo, raising over $15 million for prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.
To date, more than 1.9 million participants have raised $299 million globally.
What do you hope to see happen in the future of Movember?
With official Movember campaigns in 21 countries, Movember’s highest priority will continue to be focused on helping men and their families affected by prostate cancer. We hope to see the moustache become the global symbol for men’s health!
What's the most outrageous 'stache you've ever seen?
The most outrageous Mo’s always come out at the end of Movember at our Gala Partes, costumed events held across the world. Our supporters really bring out the big guns—shaving and grooming their Mo’s into crazy patterns and styles to dying them hot pink. Our Mo Bros really go all out to show off their Mo’s.
What's the best 'stache pun/play on words you've heard?
We really have heard every fun way to use the word moustache. One of my favorite new puns was created by our team this year to turn the first of the month into ‘Shave the Date: Movember 1st’ which encourages men to shave down in anticipation for a month of hairy growth. You can learn more about Shave the Date here.
How about you? Are you a November-only 'stache-r, or do you sport one year round?
Usually you’ll see me rocking a moustache throughout the year. In between Mo’s, I break out the razor and enjoy a clean shaven look.
To learn more about Movember and how you can get involved, visit movember.com.