Vito di Stefano
“Movember” – a month-long event in which participants grow mustaches in order to raise money for men’s health issues. Last year in San Diego, the event came to an end with a special Movember Gala Parte.
November is around the corner and things are about to get hairy – literally.
That’s right, “Movember” is upon us once again and pretty soon moustachioed men will be everywhere, growing out their best ‘staches for a worthy cause.
Movember is a popular event that takes place every year throughout the month of November in which men grow a moustache – also known as a “Mo” – to raise awareness and funds for men’s health. The event supports men’s health programs in the fight against prostate and testicular cancer and mental illness.
Here is how the moustache mania works: clean shaven participants – also known as “Mo Bros” – register themselves on Movember.com and grow and groom a moustache for the 30 days of November.
As the bros grow out their Mos, they ask their family and friends to donate to their efforts in the name of men’s health. Participants can even get encouragement along the way by having their friends rate their moustache.
The idea is that a participant’s newly-grown ‘stache will prompt conversations everywhere, bringing awareness to men’s health issues. Essentially, moustachioed men become walking, talking, hairy billboards.
Women – or “Mo Sistas” – can get in on the Movember mania too by supporting the Mo Bros in their lives and championing their efforts, helping to raise funds and organizing Movember-themed events.
According to organizers, the global Movember movement spread to the U.S. in 2006 after first starting in Melbourne, Australia, 10 years ago.
Since its humble beginnings with just 30 participants in Australia in 2003, Movember has grown to more than 3 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas participating across 21 countries worldwide.
Last year, more than 1.1 million participants around the globe joined the November event, raising $147 million for men’s health. In the U.S., more than 209,000 participants raised $21 million.
In San Diego, the Movember mania is strong.
Several Movember-themed events will go down in San Diego throughout the month, including “Shave the Date” kickoff fundraisers on Nov. 1.
On that day, Stone Brewing Co. founder Greg Koch and his fellow local Mo Bros will celebrate the beginning of Mo season with a fresh shave at Floyd’s 99 Barbershop in downtown San Diego.
Since Movember rules call for participants to shave clean on Nov. 1, Mo Bros will gather at the barbershop located at 899 Market Street for just that. Between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., the barbershop will attempt to set a record for free shaves in one day – with the exception of Koch’s beard.
Later that day, local Mo Bros will gather between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. for Happy Hour at Quality Social located at 789 6th Avenue. During the moustache mixer, Floyd’s Barbershop will have a barber chair on hand to offer clean shaves to more Mo Bros.
If Koch has met his fundraising goal of $15,000, a barber will shave off his beard, which he’s been growing and grooming for the past two years.
Finally, on Dec. 5, Mo Bros will get to show off their sweet ‘staches at the San Diego Gala Parté at Moonshine Flats in downtown San Diego.
The party begins at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10, but those who raise $100 or more for Movember get in for free. Attendees are encouraged to dress in costume to best suit their own unique moustache.
“Mo Awards” judging happens between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. With a solid ‘stache and great costume, attendees could win one of the following coveted titles: “Ultimate Mo,” a Mo Bro who stands out for his intricate grooming and styling of his Mo; “Lame Mo,” an encouragement award given to a “facial folically-challenged” participant; or “Team Mo,” a ‘stache-growing team with the best Mo and costumes combination.
There will also be awards categories for Mo Sistas and the ultimate title of “Man of Movember,” given to the man that best embodies the monthly event.
A band appropriately dubbed the “Three Mustaches” will rock out at the party right after the Mo Awards ceremony. The event lasts through midnight. To get tickets to the Gala, click here.
If Movember sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, visit this website to get started.
Happy growing, San Diego!