Patapsco High School teachers and faculty raised more than $4,700 for prostate and testicular cancer research by participating in Movember, an international campaign to raise money and awareness for men's health issues.
The rules were simple: the men started with a clean shaven face on Nov. 1, and spent the rest of the month growing whiskers. Goatees and beards didn't count, only true moustaches.
“We really exceeded everyone's expectations with how much money we raised,” said Patapsco principal Ryan Imbriale. “I thought that we could maybe raise around $1,000, so to be able to donate that amount of money to such a good cause was great.”
The school took advantage of modern teaching technology to deliver its message to the students, using the website to promote the campaign and raise money.
The staff also used the scroll, a daily announcement feed that runs all day on televisions in every classroom, to give a Movember male health fact and an updated picture of one of the participants.
“I'm very proud of the student body who helped raise over $1,000 on Tuesday alone through sales of Movember tee shirts and fake moustaches,” said Imbriale.
According to the Movember website, 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime as opposed to 1 in 3 wome. Evidence suggests that about a third of deaths caused by cancer are related to preventable conditions such as obesity, poor nutrition and smoking.
The campaign believes that the reasons for the poor state of men’s health is primarily due to a lack of awareness and the reluctance of men to speak about their health issues.
Men are less likely to schedule doctors’ appointments when they feel ill or go for an annual physical, denying themselves the chance of early detection and effective treatment of common diseases, according to the campaign.
To date, Patapsco has raised more than $1,200 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
The school hopes to participate in Movember for years to come, and challenges other local schools and organizations to become involved.
“We want to challenge ourselves as a school to create something at Patapsco that becomes a tradition where every year we are really doing something powerful to support men's health,” said Imbriale.