Ignoring society – for charity

During the month of November, men at Wilfrid Laurier University and around the world will be taking inspiration from Super Mario, Burt Reynolds, Stalin and other mustachioed cultural icons and taking part in “Movember”.

Now an annual tradition, students’ best attempts at facial hair will once again be on display for a full month, all in the name of charity.

“Prostate cancer is definitely one of those cancers that people don’t know a lot about,” said Robb Farago of Laurier’s SBE Cares, a branch of the School of Business and Economics Students’ Society.

“The concept of November as a charity ‘mustache month’ originated in Adelaide, Australia in 1999, but took off in 2004 as a charity event specifically to raise money for men’s health issues.

The first Canadian Movember event took place in 2007.

That mustache is a little ribbon that shows you care about prostate cancer and men’s health,” Farago explained.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. On average, 80 Canadian men die from prostate cancer every week.

Farago joked that women might not be particularly attracted to mustaches.
“I’ll definitely be looking for a little less social time this month as a result,” he said.

Fourth-year student John Kennedy also acknowledged this pitfall, but thinks that women on campus appreciate the month.

“They understand… A lot of them think it’s funny and that’s a good reason to do it.”

Kennedy first participated in Movember last year as part of Laurier’s “Team Stashmo,” which completed the month with close to one thousand dollars in donations.

This year, Kennedy is once again taking part on Team Caesar Mo-tini’s, sponsored by the popular University Ave. bar and restaurant. The team is currently 15 members strong, but is looking to grow throughout the month.

“If you’re just going to do it to grow a mustache, you can just grow a mustache anytime you want,” Kennedy said.

“This is a designated month where people try to raise money and raise awareness for what I think is a worthwhile and underrepresented cause.”

All teams sign up for “Mospaces” online, where they can post blogs and photo updates of their mustache growth as well as collect online donations through PayPal and credit card.

Farago said anyone – men and women – can get involved by “telling people about prostate cancer and how you can help, donating a few bucks here and there and just going out to the events to show your support.”

While ladies typically don’t grow mustaches, they can still support their fuzzy-lipped Mo Bros as “Mo Sistas.”

Mo Sistas support their Mo Bros by donation, promotion, and solidarity. “[SBE Cares] will be giving out fake mustaches all of November,” Farago explained.
His hope is to have a single day during Movember when all of campus sports a real or fake mustache.

With only a few days left in October, participants are determining the kinds of mustaches they intend to grow.

Farago is inspired by TV icon Tom Selleck, while Kennedy will take cues from Simpsons star Ned Flanders.