Men grow mustaches for a mission

Image: Two men with mustaches
Morgan Collett, left, and Angus McIntosh sport their mustaches on Nov. 25 at Saturdays in Soho in New York City. They were taking part in Movember, a monthlong fundraising campaign to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues.Giacinta Pace
/ Source: NBC News

At last, time for a shave.

After a month of growing mustaches to raise money for men's health, the more than a quarter million people who took part in "Movember" can pick up their razors again.

Movember is the name the Movember Foundation gives to an annual, month-long celebration of the moustache to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues. The movement began in Melbourne, Australia, in 2004 and has since expanded across the globe.

This year's event has raised more than $30 million. Proceeds will go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong foundation. (The champion cycler is a testicular cancer survivor and himself sported a mustache for the month.)

“Mo Bros,” as the participants are called, are clean-shaven at the start of November and grow their moustaches as the month progresses. Along the way they gather support and donations from friends, family and anyone who asks about their “Mo.”

You don’t need to be a male to get involved; the Movember Foundation is all-inclusive. While the men are growing their facial hair, “Mo Sistas” (ladies who support their guys or just love mustaches) can also get involved by recruiting more “Mo Bros” and raising funds. The charity’s Web site includes fun and hip videos as well as interesting features such as Mo Space where one can view and rate pictures of participants and their unique “Mo's.”

Manly fantasy?
Morgan Collett, who owns the surf-themed coffee shop Saturdays in Soho in New York City, was among the more than 28,000 Americans who grew a “stache” all month long. Collett says the annual fundraiser is an important happening. “What’s amazing is that this whole cause for the month of November has hit a global community. I have had friends from Finland and friends from Paris and friends from all over the world who’ve come through New York and they all have the mustache just for the month.”

Collett is working on putting together a charity event at his store in support of the organization.

Collett’s friend, aspiring fashion designer Angus McIntosh, also sported a “Mo” for November. McIntosh hails from Australia and has known about this group for years, “It’s a good cause. Also, I think secretly every young man wants a chance to grow a mustache as well.”

As a result of participating in this philanthropic endeavor, Collett and McIntosh have become  attached to their newfound facial feature. Although the month is over, they say they don't plan to part with their “staches” anytime soon.

Being proactive
The Movember fundraiser culminates in a "Gala Partè" in major cities across the globe in early December, where “Mo Bros” and “Mo Sistas” celebrate their good deeds and accomplishments in style. “Mo Bros” dress up in fashions from the same time period as their “Mo” and each “Mo Bro” walks the catwalk vying for the ultimate prize, "Man of Movember." Last year’s winner was from New Zealand and this year Australia is looking to bring the prize back home.

Raising money is an important part of the foundation’s work; however, the group is also focused on having men be an advocate for their own health. Many men don’t see a doctor regularly for checkups and often wait to long to get help when they notice serious symptoms. The organization is asking everyone to take time during this holiday season to remind the men in their lives how vital it is to have a yearly physical and be proactive about their health.