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Movember 2009

November 3rd, 2009 @ 1:04pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

In 2003 Adam Garone of Melbourne and his friends thought it would be funny to see how well they could each grow a mustache for an entire 30-day period. It was at this time Movember was created (Mo being local slang for a mustache) and they really had no idea how their silly idea would soon lead to a global movement.

movember09

Each of the 30 participating friends started out the month clean-shaven and by the end they threw a party to celebrate their campaign. “We got so much grief from girlfriends, bosses, and moms who said, ‘You can’t just grow a mustache!’,” said Adam. Once all was said and done (and shaved off) Adam and his friends thought, “that was so much fun we need a way to legitimize it so we can keep it going year after year.” Thus Movember truly began to take shape.

The group thought about various campaigns they had previously been a party of such as fundraisers for breast cancer research and became inspired by that global community that seems to make such a difference. “Of the original group, two of the guys had dads with prostate cancer so we started researching,” noted Adam. The guys soon found out that prostate cancer was similar to breast cancer in terms of number of people diagnosed each year. They also observed that, “there was a significant gap in awareness and fundraising for that particular cause.” As such, campaigning to raise funds for Prostate Cancer research became the driving force behind the next Movember.

“Prostate cancer is over 90 per cent curable if detected and treated in its earliest stages. in addition to investing in research, Movember raises awareness and ultimately saves lives. Together we are changing the face of men’s health.” – Steve Jones, CEO and President, Prostate Cancer Canada

In 2004 they then had 450 men from Melbourne and Australia take part, raising $55,000 and this year they are now on track to register over a quarter of a million participants globally.

“Growing a mustache is a lot like doing a run or a walk for charity,” said Adam who said they then created the tag line “changing the face of men’s health”. “So we literally challenge men to change their appearance with that commitment and by doing that they became a walking billboard for 30 days talking about prostate cancer, their health, and raising funds along the way.”

He attributes much of its global success to word of mouth and they had no idea that it would grow to be the event is it today. Across Canada there are already over 1,400 participants or “Mos” each running campaigns or as a part of a team. Locally, Movember Canada funds raised will go to Prostate Cancer Canada while globally the Movember Foundation supports campaigns, education, and research year-round.

Adam said that, “men want to do something for causes that effect us but we don’t want to wear a blue ribbon. We don’t want to wear a blue wristband. But growing a mustache has that retro appeal and a lot wonder what they look like with a mustache.”

Upon signup you will be given your own online donation/campaign page, the rule (ie. no goatees or beards), and tools to help you raise funds and host events in your city. Women are also encouraged to get involved as they can organize teams, donate, and help mobilize their male friends.

Adam Garone, Co-Founder, Movember

After interviewing Adam, I put the call out on Twitter (by the way you can find them @Movember / @Movember_CA) to see if there were any local participants out there. Here’s a quick list if you’d like to show your support:

  • Graeme Tait is a radio personality from Nanaimo who is on the team: “1069 The Wolf Mo Bro’s”
  • Gus Fosarolli, Jordan Behan, Chris Mathieson and friends are on the team: “Twi’stache Vancouver”
  • Peter Gale and the crew from Sophos are on the team: “Team Mophos”
  • The folks at memelabs have a team
  • Raul Pacheco has also compiled a list of participants here
  • … if you have a team feel free to leave a comment and I can add you to the local list
  • Vancouver will celebrate the end of Movember on the 26th at Fortune Sound Club on East Pender. You can come dressed as the character that best suits your ‘stache and there are also prizes for Miss Movember. This will all be followed by what I can only assume will be a massive shave-off.

    Adam encourages all men to take part and it isn’t too late to join today. “Movember is just the perfect word of mouth campaign, it’s on your face — and if it’s not on your face it’s in your face.”

    Update: Local company, Saxx is participating and for every pair of their Saxx underwear that they sell this month, they’ll donate $1 to the cause.

    Current contests on Miss604.com

    • Enter here to win a $100 TOMS for Target gift card (until November 23)
    • Enter here to win a 4 pack of Vancouver Christmas Market passes (until November 25)
    • Enter here to win 1 of 2 robotic toys from Best Buy (until November 25)
    • Enter here to win your way into a glass ornament making workshop (until November 26)
    • Enter here to win 4 tickets to the Vancouver Giants' Teddy Bear Toss game night (until November 27)
    • View a complete list of contests »

    11 comments

    1. Thanks for blogging about this! I’m on the Twi’stache team and so far my upper lip just looks dirty rather than hairy.

      Twi’stache has raised a total of $990 so far, and we’re looking for more donations. Prostate cancer is a serious disease that doesn’t get much time in the limelight — guys generally don’t like talking about that stuff. I’ve personally, recently had experiences with the disease with someone close to me. Anyway, who doesn’t *love* a ‘stache? http://ca.movember.com/mospace/126397

    2. wendy weir says:

      heard on global bc tv news this morning that their male personalities are going for the movember as encouraged by their fill anchor this week randene – she and mark madregus (weather) were talking on it and she was going to work to encourage them to get involved
      super promo idea and ‘just for men’

      just wanted to let you know
      wendy

      any tea moments lately? having a tweet contest for #teatuesday for a free Libre if u know of any tea drinking friends

    3. Wow, what a creative idea to raise money for an amazing cause! It’s very inspiring to see that what may seem to be the silliest idea can make such a difference to our communities and future. Great job!

    4. Kirsten says:

      Mo’ Bros & mo’ sistas. Make sure to upload all wicked video of anything mo-related to the Movember video contest: http://memelabs.com/movember/

    5. Austin Woodward says:

      Miss 604,

      Great article. I was at the mo-event today, it was pretty unreal to think that the whole charitable component of Movember was created originally as an excuse to provide to girlfriends, wives and bosses!

      The team at brand.LIVE Management Group are growing mo’s (Mine looks lie a bad teen moustache at the mo’ment)

      Please donate to our team!

      http://ca.movember.com/mospace/156877

    6. GusF says:

      Thanks so much for adding my donation page to this post.

      I have to say shaving off my goatee and starting clean shaven has been a shock, but it’s all for a good cause.

      Again thanks for the support!

    7. Matthew Rosenbluth says:

      The Hebrew Hammers are representing Arizona and Las Vegas. There will be a sick gala party at The Palms in Las Vegas for Movember on Dec 6. Come one, come all.

    8. Rob J says:

      Thanks for the post, Rebecca!

      Some of our BuildDirect guys have started a team as well as a pub night which will raise money for Prostate Cancer Canada. Here’s the donation page. Anyone interested in attending the pub night can sign up here.

      Thanks again for the post!

    9. Great blog post.

      I’ve been doing this event for three years now and every year it gets better and better. A group of friends have started a team and last year we raised $2000 so this year we’re hoping to double it.

      http://ca.movember.com/mospace/184569

      Last year we went as Mo risky Mo business. There was six of us in white shirts and underwear for the Cowboys party in Calgary. Surprisingly we didn’t really get many looks as there was a ton of people dressed up for the final party.

      Thanks for spreading the good word.

    10. […] I didn’t know the full history behind Movember, until I read @miss604 ’s very detailed blog post. I highly recommend that you give it a read. Good stuff! I’ll give you the cliff notes […]

    11. […] 2009 Learning more about Movember, going on a fall photowalk, being at the launch of the ABSOLUT Vodka Vancouver bottle in the […]

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