Men raise almost $60,000 . . . growing moustaches
The ‘Mo Men' of Bermuda raised almost $60,000 just by growing moustaches.
November was rechristened Movember by the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre (BCHC) which wanted to raise awareness of men's health issues.
A total of 80 men signed up, pledging to get clean shaved and grow moustaches as a badge of support as well as raising money from sponsors. Money raised will be used by the BCHC to support ongoing men's health awareness programmes in Bermuda.
Declaring the campaign an “overwhelming success”, BCHC executive director Tara Soares said donations would go toward “men's access to early cancer screening, for not just prostate but also screening for other cancers such as testicular, colon, skin and lung”.
She added: “Throughout the month of Movember we stayed in touch with Movember Co-Founder Adam Garone and I am pleased to report that we are already making plans to strengthen our ties with the International Movember campaign for 2011.”
Marketing coordinator Deborah Narraway said the BCHC had also taken advantage of Movember to give out more than 100 vouchers, each worth $150, toward medical checkups for men aged over 40.
“We could not have asked for a better Men's Health Month. Both campaigns exceeded our expectations,” she said.
At a Tuesday night ‘Mo Finale', 37 men gathered at Latin, on Victoria Street. Some took the occasion to get a clean shave from Cutting Room barbers Jeanette Morrison and Helen Stirling.
Mo man Brendan Huttick said: “It was a great buzz. A lot of moustaches. It looked like a ‘70s party in there.
“It was a challenge getting my moustache taken off and I've got chapped lips now, but sure, I'd do it again next year. I just hope they don't up the ante.”
Drag queen performer Mark Anderson did not take part in the shave-off, saying he wanted to keep his moustache though he said he would be happy to sacrifice it next year to raise money again.
“A lot of guys were pretty anxious to get rid of theirs, though. Some of them were saying they hadn't had a kiss from their wives in nearly a month and their kids were running away from them,” he said.
Judges at the finale awarded prizes to moustache-growers Somers Kempe, Carlos Rego, Greg Reid and John Dale, with Matthew Bollands taking the “Ultimate Mo” prize and Andrew Hern winning the fundraising category.
Hamilton Town Crier Ed Christopher, who dispensed with his moustache at the start of last month, said Movember's biggest achievement in Bermuda had been to get people talking.
“If we have it next year it'll pick up, because I know I hadn't heard about Movember before this year. I'd do it again. I got a lot of remarks from people, losing my moustache they said it took ten years off my face. I think next year we'll have a big one.”
Movember is a global charity, which originated in Australia where moustaches are called ‘Mos' and although organisers cannot give an exact count of the money raised so far, they have reported a record-breaking 450,000 men around the world taking part in the 2010 campaign.
l Donations to Bermuda's ‘Mo men' are still being accepted through the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre's site at www.chc.bm.