From a beer-fuelled chat to a $700 million charity, Movember is now a huge deal. A local rugby player is doing his bit for Luxembourg.
Movember originated in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 when two friends, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, started discussing bygone fashion trends and in particular the seldom seen, but once exceedingly popular, moustache.
Their idea was a simple one: get a bunch of mates together, grow a moustache for the month of November and raise money for charity.
Thirteen years later, that beer-fuelled conversation has been responsible for raising over $700 million and providing funding for more than 1,200 men’s health projects--from raising awareness of prostate cancer to mental health and suicide prevention. Even celebrities including Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck and Colin Farrell have all been vocal and ‘facial’ supporters of Movember. Today, over 21 countries participate in the Movember Foundation and Rugby Club Luxembourg, led by Ruadhri Guilfoyle, is ready to muck in for this year’s challenge.
This will be the 11th year that Guilfoyle has taken part in the initiative and he is aiming to make it the most successful year to date. “Last year we raised €2,128 with nine members of RCL taking part,” he explains. “This year our aim is to raise €5,000. So I’ve stepped in as the team leader to ensure the lads are up to the job.” Guilfoyle came to learn about Movember through Antipodeans who played for the club over the years and more directly when a team mate’s brother died of prostate cancer several years ago.
“I lost my own mother to cancer around the same time as Movember began, so it’s always been something that resonates with me,” says Guilfoyle. “The Movember foundation has also expanded to cover mental health care and suicide prevention in males, which is something that is sadly on the increase these days.”
According to Movember website, every minute, one man commits suicide and prostate cancer kills 35 men every hour. The funds raised by the Movember Foundation go towards treatment and prevention of these illnesses by providing testing, raising awareness and education to staffing helplines.
In 2015 Guilfoyle, assisted by his daughter, dyed his own moustache pink when he reached €1,000 in donations. This year RCL has teamed up with The Tube bar for a Mo-Party fundraiser on Saturday 26 November. “There will be six international rugby games on that day and plenty of other festivities to keep people entertained, so we are hoping for a great turnout to reach our €5,000 target!”
On 30 November, the Ferber Barbershop in the Belle Étoile shopping centre in Strassen is the place to be. “All the guys that grow their moustaches can get a free shave and the money collected will go to the Movember Foundation,” explains Laura Ferber.
No points for guessing where the RCL team will be on that day, then.