A man with a bushy black moustache poses in a barber chair
"I use that awkward facial hair to start what can be awkward conversations."Image by: TRISTAN OLIVEIRA
A man with a bushy black moustache poses in a barber chair
11 December 2023

Anthony’s story: From his first moustache to nearly $100,000 raised for men’s health

3 minutes read time

My first Mo

I first started getting involved with Movember in 2012 after hearing about it on a podcast. I thought, “Hey! I’m a 22-year old guy, fresh out of college. I’m in consulting. I’m going to be seeing clients all the time. What a funny excuse to grow a moustache!” So, year one was a funny moustache. Year 2 -- also a funny moustache. When you’re a 22-year old with a moustache, it was comedic at the time. An awkward conversation starter, right? You walk into a meeting, and people are like, “So, what’s going on with that thing?”

The evolution of the why

Year three rolls around and somebody at work asked me about it. I said, “I’m growing a moustache for Movember!” And they said, “I’d like to donate. My dad died of prostate cancer.” And that hit me. This is real. I started taking it more seriously. Having more conversations with folks, going beyond my awkward moustache, and letting them know that it was for men’s health, prostate cancer and testicular cancer at the time. It really resonated with the people I was talking to on client sites. As my moustache has gotten bigger and bigger over the years, I use that awkward facial hair to start what can be awkward conversations. This has been my mantra for the last decade.

The dollars over the years

My first year -- $0. My second year -- $0. My third year, not so bad, $350. And it just snowballed from there. Then it was $1000, $2000, $5000. Every year I just started making more ridiculous goals, to the point where in the last 3 years, I’ve raised $60,000. So, while the journey started as an excuse to grow a funny moustache, it’s really changed. Everybody has a dad, or a brother, an uncle or a son, a boyfriend, husband, or something. You don’t have to look far to find somebody who’s been impacted by men’s cancers or mental health.

Why do the dollars matter to me? There are 2 ways of answering that. One is obviously the dollars go to a good cause, and I want to raise money for a good cause to make a real impact. That’s the demand side of things. The supply side though is that those dollars are coming from real people. So, every new donor means another person that you’ve convinced that this is a worthy cause.

Where the Mo has taken me

The last 12 months with Movember feel more legitimate than my first few years. Last March I went to Mount Kilimanjaro with Movember and met the guys of Team Macho Macho. They’ve become really good friends. I got to be a part of the Nasdaq bell-ringing last year with a handful of folks from the New York Movember community. It’s not just about the conversations or the fundraising or the people. It’s all of it. It feels like I have a direct connection to the foundation, and a new revival of my own Movember fundraising.

A buddy messages me every year and he’s like “Wow, you’ve really committed to this bit.” The last 13 months, my Mo has taken me to what has felt like being a more active participant in this mission to change the face of men’s health. So, I’ll continue to make noise.

Support Anthony’s mission to help change the face of men’s health.