Tomorrow is the first of Movember

November is not a month typically associated with growth. It is a time where Torontonians finally pack away their patio furniture and, with woolly blankets and longjohns in hand, hunker down for another frozen, bereft winter in the big city.

That was before Movember. Yes, November has been rechristened as a month long festival to celebrate human civilization's greatest manifestation of facial hair- the moustache. All across our fair city, men will leave their upper lips unshaved, allowing nature to run riot and sprout whiskery shrines to virility. And, as an added bonus, it's all in the name of charity.

Founded three years ago in Australia, the concept behind Movember is simple. Men grow moustaches. People sponsor their moustaches. Money is raised for important male health charities. Almost $8.5 million dollars, to be precise.

The Canadian Iteration of Movember supports the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada. Every year, some 22,300 Canadian men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 4,300 die of the disease. A worthy cause, indeed.

While the many virtues of the moustache are apparent (looks great, protects upper lip, stores food), it nevertheless remains a strange vehicle for fundraising. So why the 'stache?

"A moustache is the international passport to pleasure and I can walk proud knowing that people perceive me as a man of considerable wealth and knowledge," says International Movember Ambassador Jim BBQ. "Putting the mo and men's health together seemed like the best idea I had ever heard of. Movember is the perfect place to get blokes from all over the world hanging out, talking about mo's and their health."

Movember culminates in a 'gala parte' at the Phoenix Concert Hall, where 'mo bros' and their teams show off their stylish facial hair. Awards will also begiven for best mo, most money raised, and a variety of other facial hair-related honours.

I am proud to say that I will be growing my moustache for men's health this Movember. Good mo's, good times, and a good cause. If you'd like more information on how to get involved or donate, please visit the official Movember website.

Photo: The 'Movan' and guest.

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