Nov 07, 2012 • By

Movember at General Mills

There are a few sorry excuses for moustaches that are blooming on the lips of men around General Mills.

No, they didn’t lose their razor or forget to shave. They actually have a good reason for their facial hair.

This month, more than 250 men across the company are adding a “lip cap” to their face to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.

The men, known as “Mo Bros”, are participating in “Movember.” They started the month clean-shaven, and will grow their moustache for 30 days, getting friends, family and colleagues to donate to their Mo-growing efforts.

During that time they become walking, talking billboards for men’s health.

Female participants in Movember, called “Mo Sistas,” also play a crucial role during the campaign by acting as team captains, recruiting others to join, sparking conversations, lending support to Mo Bros who grow, and raising general awareness for the importance of men’s health.

Last year, 85 General Mills Mo-Bro’s raised more than $20,000, more than all the Mo-Bro’s in Spain.

This year we hope to raise at least $35,000.

I’m a member of the planning committee organizing this year’s Movember effort at the company. We already have 277 Mo-Bro’s signed up as of today, and have more than $17,000 pledged, and we’re on track to raise more money than France, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, and the Czech Republic and yes, Spain too! (Movember began in Australia in 2003).

Our committee has planned a number of events and promotions to help drive awareness and participation this year. We held an awareness and kickoff event to capture the “before” photo of the 2012 Mo-Bros.

Additionally, mid-month and final photos will be taken. And, the latest Mo-Bros will host a fundraising event on November 16. There also is a rumor that a General Mills Men of Movember Calendar is in the works. We’ll see!

I also was fortunate to be asked to talk about our campaign on our local CBS-TV affiliate, WCCO.

While the event is a lot of fun, there are serious issues at stake. One in two men will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lives (compared with one in three women). And a man dies from prostate cancer every 15.6 minutes – about 33,000 deaths this year alone. Some men just don’t think about their health as often as they should.

I’ve been a part of Movember for a couple years, after a friend of mine came down with a rare cancer. It was a big wake up call for me about men’s health.

As for the mo, I think I look great with one!

Though, I wish I could grow one like actor Sam Elliott. Mine grows in a little too patchy for that.

But If I could grow a mo like his it would be Movember every day of the year!

You can learn more about Movember, here.