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Andrew Himelson (Senior), Cody Rosen (Senior),  Sam Labrecque (Sophomore)
Andrew Himelson (Senior), Cody Rosen (Senior), Sam Labrecque (Sophomore)

Heard Up North: "Save a bro, grow a mo'"

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"Movember" is an annual, month-long event where men grow a "mo," or moustache, as part of a campaign to raise awareness and money for prostate cancer and men's health initiatives. It started in Australia over a decade ago and has spread throughout the world.

The rules are simple: be fully shaved at the start of the month and grow a moustache throughout the month of November. There are many different moustache styles that can be used, from fully-grown to hardly noticeable. All moustaches are accepted, no matter how much someone can grow.

In that time, millions of men with a desire to do good through facial hair, and the women who support them (the Movember organization calls them "mo bros and mo sistas") have raised almost $300 million.

Movember isn't as well known in the North Country as in some other places, but at Clarkson University in Potsdam, it's getting bigger.

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Reported by

Daena Moulton
News intern

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This article isn't identical to our on-air version of this story. To hear NCPR's Heard Up North on Movember, click “listen with NCPR player”.

Samples of Movember facial foliage grown at Clarkson:

This year the Clarkson Men's Hockey team raised around $2,800, with each of its 27 members growing a moustache. Team member Adam Pawlick says although the hockey players have grown moustaches for the past four Novembers, this year he decided they should start using them to raise some money.

Cody Rosen, whose father survived prostate cancer, says he feels it's important to raise money as well as awareness, and he says he's really seen Movember grow as a way of doing both.

And there's some healthy competition too, says team member Andrew Himelson. He says it's fun "seeing some of the guys that actually can't grow a moustache, and which guys can come up with interesting things to do with their moustaches."

Clarkson University President Tony Collins says he's a huge supporter and grew a moustache a couple years ago with the hockey players.

He says being involved, "and in this case growing moustaches, or helping to get funds, I think it's almost therapeutic. Because it gives you an active way of expressing yourself, being involved in memory of those that you've known or been in your family that have been obviously negatively impacted by cancer. So it's a great thing to do."

A 'stache around the world

People around the world, both men and women, are using clever and insightful ways to promote Movember.

Jonah Greenberg is a student at Ontario's Guelph University, and he's been getting donations for the past three years. He says one of the cleverest ideas he has seen was from a female student at Guelph. "What she's done is she's created a Facebook group, but she allows her supporters to request kind of like goofy photos to be taken of wearing a fake moustache. Some of them are like reenacting the scene from the Titanic on the front of the boat with moustaches. And the amount of support she has gotten is huge."

Professional sport organizations are supporting Movember as well. Some athletes have shown their support by growing moustaches, and whole teams, such as the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (NHL), have gotten involved. Last year, goaltender Jonas Hiller's helmet paint scheme depicted each one of his teammates sporting a style of moustache that he thought suited them.

Athletes are not the only people endorsing the "Grow a Mo, Save a Bro" slogan. This year's slogan was "Movember and Sons," taken from the name of the popular band Mumford and Sons, who also support the cause.

More information about Movember is on the web. Clarkson student and NCPR intern Kelly Bauch also contributed reporting to this story.

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