Raising 'mo'ney for men's healthThings are getting a little hairy in Grand Forks. Young men all over the city are ditching their razors in favor of flavor-savers — mustaches, that is — for a cause.
By: Amy Martz, Grand Forks Herald
Things are getting a little hairy in Grand Forks.
Young men all over the city are ditching their razors in favor of flavor-savers — mustaches, that is — for a cause.
The campaign known as “Movember” looks to raise money and awareness of men’s health issues. Started in Australia in 2004, the campaign has raised $40 million worldwide. “Mo Bros” shave their faces Nov. 1 and commit to spending the rest of the month growing mustaches and collecting donations for the cause.
In 2008, Jon Holth brought the Movember movement to Grand Forks after learning about it from a friend. Holth, co-owner of the Toasted Frog in downtown Grand Forks, created “Team Morks” and enlisted the help of his staff.
“There are so many women’s health fundraisers and awareness campaigns annually, and I thought this was a chance for men to have some fun, while at the same time start a dialogue about the dangers of prostate cancer and men’s health in general,” he said.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, according to the National Cancer Institute, which expects 217,730 new cases in 2010.
Team Morks raised about $9,000 in 2009, which made them one of the country’s 50 most successful Movember teams. The money was split between the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Livestrong, a charity that works to improve the lives of those affected by cancer. The team raised $5,000 in 2008.
This year, Team Morks is led by Louie Hodgson and “Mo Sista” Roberta Pytlik, both of Grand Forks, both veterans of past campaigns.
“There aren’t many things going on locally where the emphasis is on men’s health.” Hodgson said, “And growing a mustache is fun. We’re always talking about mustaches.”
n East Grand Forks, The Blue Moose Bar and Grill’s “Stache” for Cash team members have their pictures taken to be displayed above the bar. Patrons can pay a dollar to vote for the best or dirtiest mustache. All the proceeds go to the cause.
“It’s a great way to start a conversation.” said Cameron Livingstone, a waiter at the Blue Moose. “How many people wear mustaches in everyday life?” With a laugh, he said of his own mustache, “it’s chugging along as best it can.”
The UND men’s hockey team also is involved this year.
Junior forward Brett Hextall said the team is not registered on the Movember website but that could be a goal for next year.
“We sold jerseys for breast cancer last month, and I think we just figured we should do something for Movember, as well.” he said “The idea of growing a mustache is something new for us, but it’s fun and different and brings attention to a great cause.”
Movember culminates with a celebration Dec. 2 from 6 to 10 p.m. in the Empire Arts Center in downtown Grand Forks. Admission is $10, with all proceeds going to the campaign. There will be food, live music, photo opportunities, shoe shining and mustache competitions. Local comedian Spencer Dobson will host the event.
“Everyone has such a good spirit about it,” Pytlik said. “I think it’s awesome that something as silly as a mustache can influence people. The mustache has a lot of power these days.”
To form a Movember team or for more information, log on to Movember.com.
Martz is a student at UND. Reach her at Amy.Martz@und.edu.
Tags: prostate cancer, mens health, gf and egf, toasted frog, jon holth, national cancer institute, team morks, prostate cancer foundation, louie hodgson, mo sista, roberta pytlik, blue moose bar and grill, news, health, movember, livestrong, and