Movember: A Time to Reminisce and Reflect

Movember: A Time to Reminisce and Reflect

Movember is an annual charity event that takes place in November. The two parts of this event include walking or running 60 miles, as well as growing a mustache for the whole month of November. This tradition is to benefit mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer. 

Movember was founded in 2003 by Travis Garone and Luke Slattery. A simple conversation turned to recurring fashion trends and how the mustache was not in recent trends. They talked about bringing it back jokingly. Travis Garone and Luke Slattery were inspired by a friend’s mother were doing fundraising for breast cancer. They were able to find 30 people that were willing to grow a mustache. 

Those first 30 people help start formalizing this event in 2004. That year, 450 people raised AUD 54,000 or USD $40,851. They were able to fund six men’s health projects. The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) agreed with the campaign. All the proceeds were donated to the PCFA and were the largest single donation to the PCFA. In 2005, the word of Movember spread like wildfire, and they raised AUD 1.2 million for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.  It expanded internationally in 2006. They launched their partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand in 2006. Garone and Slattery soon began working on Movember full-time.  They also gained their first full-time employee. Lastly, Beyond Blue became Movember’s second Australian men’s health partner. 

Movember’s rules are stricter than No Shave November. You must be clean-shaven on November 1st. You must grow and groom a mustache for the whole month. You cannot have a beard (can’t join your sideburn to your bread or join your chin to your handlebars). These have been to same rule since the start of Movember.

Movember has launched many partnerships with other organizations. They helped fund the research that identifies over 2 dozen types of prostate cancer in 2009. Movember was awarded the Social Force of the award from GQ Australia magazine in 2013.  Movember became the first charity to receive cult brand status from the Gathering. 

They soon united with the National Breast Cancer Foundation Australia. This move allowed researchers to leverage genetic similarities between prostate, breast, and ovarian cancer. This helped create progress in treatment methods. Movember launched the Social Innovators Challenge in 2016. They funded a three-part series called “Man Up.” Their “Making Connections” project was delivered across 16 sites. Movember helped make connections across generations. They worked with boys and men of color, military members, veterans, and their families. Movember and Beyond Blue trailed a program offering free sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy for men that are struggling with their mental health. They have helped further information on testicular cancer screening programs to diagnose it earlier.

In 2020, there were 6,538,699 people that participated in Movember. There are now 20 participating countries. They fund over 1,250 heath projects for men. For more information on this charity and how you can help the cause, visit their website at us.movember.com to read more stories.

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