By Sean Meyer/London Community News/Twitter: Newswriter22
Lincoln McCardle is no fan of wearing a mustache, but he is making sure as many men as possible grow one — or at least talk about what they represent — during the so-called month of Movember.
During November each year, Movember is responsible for inspiring thousands of men around the world to grow a mustache as a unifying symbol. Through the wearing of the mustache, Movember hopes to inspire men to raise money for the fight against prostate cancer and awareness of men's physical and mental health initiatives.
McCardle is co-chair, along with Erik Elmauer, of the local Movember committee, one of more than a dozen across the country.
“I almost hate to say it because it is a great cause, raises a lot of money, but when I heard about it, I got involved because it sounded like a hilarious, fun thing,” McCardle said. “I don’t think I look good in a mustache, I’m not crazy about them, but for the cause I am willing to grow it.
Taking part in the campaign is simple enough as men simply need to register at Movember.com with a clean-shaven face by Nov. 1. For the rest of the month, they will spend their time attending fundraisers and encouraging discussion around not only prostate cancer awareness, but that of men’s overall health as well.
“Movember traditionally has been directly associate with prostate cancer,” McCardle said. “Because it has been growing so much, and the funds have too, this is the first year the funds raised are going 60 per cent to prostate cancer and 40 per cent to men’s mental health initiatives. Which I think makes sense, it establishes Movember as a men’s health organization.”
A big part of Movember is raising awareness of men’s health. One way to do this is by enlisting the help of those most closely associated with Mo Bros – their Mo Sistas. The idea, McCardle said, is to grow the presence of women in Movember.
“For one, we need their permission to grow mustaches a lot of the time. But also, a big part of Movember is promoting men’s health, having men get their checkup. A lot of the time women are making those appointments or are pushing men to make them,” McCardle said. “They play an important role. Particularly at the end of the month when you are hating the mustache, the encouragement from women in our lives goes a long way.”
McCardle said his love for the cause has caused him to work hard to help spread the word. Last year when he was chair by himself, McCardle said he found himself committing to be at every event put on by a local bar or business that was helping to spread the message.
That sense of responsibility is reflected in Movember committees across the country, so it was decided that a co-chair would be needed. The position made necessary, McCardle said, is due to the ongoing growth of the initiative.
“Movember is really growing across Canada and it is to the point where it is too big a job for one person. So Erik had his own team last year, he was very active in promoting it, and it was thought, lets bring someone else in,” McCardle said. “This year, I think the local committee has done a better job of splitting things up. So everyone has their own area to look after.”
And if previous year’s success is any indication, a lot of work is getting done. Last year, Canada led the way raising over $42 million and was second only to the United Kingdom registering nearly 247,000 participants.
Locally, the numbers aren’t broken out, but McCardle said London residents have continued their overwhelming history of supporting the community.
“You can definitely say London turned out last year in a huge way. We wanted that Movember gala, and we got it,” McCardle said. “London deserves it, so we said to Movember headquarters, tell us what you want us to do to get a gala, and we will do it. They came back to us and said we had blown the numbers out of the water.”
The Movember committee has certain things local groups are expected to do. For example, one event is expected to be a health related one. So the London committee is hosting a curling event. There will also be a dance flash mob and other events that work to promote men’s health.
“Movember is on the rise, people are really getting it. I don’t want to set a target, even if we didn’t, we could never have another meeting and we would still blow it away,” McCardle said. Knowing that naturally it will grow that much, we are committed to doing what we can to get the word out to the people who don’t know about it.”
For more information about Movember events, or to register for the campaign, visit http://ca.movember.com. Movember can also be followed at www.facebook.com/MovemberLondon and on Twitter by @MoLdnOnt.
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