Just as the cherry blossom opens in April, so has the brilliant lip foliage burst forth this month -- even in November, traditional harbinger of winter's cruel silence. Indeed, this Movember has seen more mustaches than ever bloom and grow like the lovely edelweiss, and as the month draws to a bittersweet close, I feel something. Something I have never before experienced. Something like...emotions.
When I set out to grow the greatest mustache the world has ever seen thirty days ago, I was in it to win it. And on some level, I think I have -- my mustache is, after all, incredibly badass. But it isn't "winning" in the way I normally think of it, which involves everybody else losing. This time, I had to go deeper.
Aaron Brost, president of Ro-Bro Public Relations and the guy who oversees Movember's campaign in the United States, agrees with me. "It's really been a breakout year for us," he says. "I have never seen more mustaches than I have this year, and I think that's pretty cool. People who don't know what Movember is have been taken aback, and that's the whole point, right?"
What he's referring to there is Movember's core purpose, which is to cure cancer through mustaches, by using their power of attraction to draw attention to prostate cancer and prevention. And this year's efforts have been an unqualified success. According to Brost, 143,000 people have grown mustaches for the cause this year, more than double the amount of participants last year. And as of the time of our interview yesterday, those people had managed to raise $10.4 million -- up from $7.5 million last year -- and he expects that number to rise significantly before it all ends tonight. "These last couple of days are crucial for fundraising," he says.
In any case, it's working. Proof positive: "I have a friend who lives in Austin, and two years ago, he started participating" Brost relates. "This year he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. That's just such a great example of someone who maybe didn't really think about prostate cancer before, but he went to the doctor and got his checkup, and they were able to catch it in time. He's getting the treatment, and it looks like he's going to be okay. And that's really what it's all about."
Well said, Aaron Brost. And just like I did the time my plot to steal my best friend's bike because I didn't get one for Christmas like I asked for was foiled, I learned some important lessons this month -- about life, about love, and about brotherhood. Because even though I'm still pretty sure that if it came down to it my mustache is perfectly capable of out-mustaching all other mustaches, I learned that Movember isn't about gaining the glory at the price of everyone else's defeat. Indeed, the glory was right there all along, for you and me, for everyone. The glory is the mustache, and the mustache is free. Let us celebrate it.
Actually, an excellent way to celebrate it is at the Denver Movember Gala Parte coming up this Saturday at Sutra at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $10 (unless you've raised $100 for the cause; then it's free -- and if you've raised $200 you get a +1). Tom Selleck costumes are encouraged.
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