Grow your own

It is not too late to sign up on Movember's website and participate in growing, donating or spreading word about the cause. Go to us.movember.com to register your team and mustache.

By now, mid-November, mustaches are sprouting off the upper lips of men all across Boulder in celebration of the counter-culture month Movember. Dedicated to the awareness of men's health, it encourages conversation about issues facing men.

"Mustaches are remarkable — it sometimes doesn't necessarily look good for the first seven days, 10 days or even 30 — but it requires more confidence to grow than a beard does," said Tom Whiteside, grassroots engagement manager for the Movember Foundation in the U.S. "It's real men, growing real mustaches, talking about real issues."

The Movember project was started in 2003 in Melbourne, Australia, and now is celebrated in more than 21 countries worldwide. The Movember Foundation, with more than 1.1 million registered members, raised $147 million in 2012 to help research towards testicular and prostate cancer and contributed to men's mental health issues, too, according to their official website.

At mid-month, Dan Bergeron, 26, a Boulder resident and a four-year supporter of the Movember Foundation, has raised more $2,000 toward his $4,000 goal this year. Being a runner, he too supported Team Movember in the New York City Marathon.


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"I was in touch with Movember, and the opportunity to run the NYC Marathon came up. As a runner myself, I thought it was a good opportunity to run my first full marathon," Bergeron said. "Because I think Movember has a good message — it is very creative and very unique, and fun. They have a 'celebrate life in a fun kind of way' message, and I think it focuses on the good in helping out men."

According to the American Cancer Society statistics, 238,590 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in 2013, and 8,000 new cases were found for testicular cancer.

"You hardly hear about supporting men's health, but everyone knows what the pink ribbon is for," said Lucas Cooper, a member of The Boulder Beard and Mustache Club. "It's like the manly version of wearing pink for breast cancer."

The BBMC is one of two clubs in Boulder (the other is the Boulder Facial Hair Club) participating in the month's fundraising efforts by growing out their mustaches — supported by donations on their registered "Mo Space Page."

"I think it's something every man can do for a month and it's not that much work. You simply don't shave your upper lip and spread the word about supporting men's health," Cooper said. "If you're going to grow you facial hair for a month, do it for men's health."

The month, though, isn't just for men. Women can join the cause, too, as a "mo sista."

"They are not expected to grow a mustache, of course, but we find that women are the gateway to health in a man's life — it's the women who tend to make us think about our health," Whiteside said. "They lead by example, like what they have done around breast cancer, but they get guys to open up. Women are just as important to the movement as guys are."

Contact Gavin B. Griffin at gavinbgriffin@gmail.com