More members for Movember

Dal MBA students bond over moustaches, raise money for prostate cancer

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Andrew Konesky is the Dalhousie MBA Movember team captain. (Photo: Katie Rankin)

On the first day of November, men all over the world put down their razors and started growing a badge for men's health on their upper-lip.

A Movember participant grows a moustache for 30 days to raise awareness and money for prostate cancer and other men's health issues.

Movember is more popular than ever with 114,960 "Mo Bros" and "Mo Sistas" registered on the Movember Canada website on Monday.

The Movember website encourages participants to form teams. One of these teams is the Dalhousie Movember MBA's, a group of classmates from Dalhousie University's two-year Master of Business Administration program. They formed their team last year.

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Teammate MacKenzie Willson was the team's top earner last year. (Photo: Katie Rankin)

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The growth of Movember from 2003 to present.

Andrew Konesky, Dal Movember MBA's team captain, says it seems natural to take part in Movember since MBA students participate in other cancer-related campaigns.

Konesky says there's obviously a novelty to the campaign and the moustache, but it shouldn't affect the credibility of its participants.

"It doesn't matter if it's seen as a novelty or not, as long as it's seen," he says.

Mustachio'd motivators

Teammates enjoy being part of a Movember group for the camaraderie and friendly rivalry between classmates.

They "egg each other on", he says, by making comments about each other's rate of moustache growth.

Team member and second-year MBA student MacKenzie Willson was the top earner last year, raising $650. He says competition within the team is good motivation and a bonding experience.

Trying to earn the most again this year, he and another classmate were tied for second when we spoke. As of Sunday night he's in first place with $350.

Working together as a team also brings attention to the cause, says Willson.

"If there's two or three people in the same room with moustaches, people are gonna ask questions. It's gonna generate interest."

Willson's grandfather had prostate cancer and later passed away from cancer. He says the cause is especially important to his family and friends.

Most of the team's donations come from participants' family and friends, says Konesky, but some alumni and students give money too.

Mo Sistas, Mo Money

Growing a moustache can also generate strange looks from the opposite sex, says Konesky. Some team members even shaved after their girlfriends complained of their emerging upper-lip hair. Konesky says women should encourage their boyfriends, not make them feel bad.

Some women don't realize they can register with Movember as "Mo Sistas" and raise money and awareness. Second-year MBA student Katie Baglole is one of ten women participating in the team's Movember activities.

"It's not a campaign just for men," she says. "Everyone is touched by cancer."

Her advice to girlfriends of Movember participants is "If the moustache doesn't suit him, just have a laugh."

People have different motivations for participating and for donating, says Konesky, but "there is no wrong reason to take part."

Movember officially wraps up at the end of the month but the Halifax Movember Gala Parté is Nov. 25.

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