STUDIO CITY—The world’s largest mustache-themed run took place on Sunday, November 23, at the CBS Studio Center on Ventura Boulevard between Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Tujunga Boulevard.
Nearly 2,0000 costumed contenders participated in the 5k “Mustache Dache for Movember,” which is, according to the event’s website, “the nation’s premier mustache-themed running series.”
Proceeds from the LA Mustache Dache event (which totaled nearly $4,000) supports the Movember Foundation, a 501c3 charity, which describes itself as “the leading global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health,” focusing chiefly on prostate and testicular cancers, as well as mental health.
The Movember Foundation has become popularized by challenging men “to grow mustaches during Movember (the month formerly known as November),” to raise awareness of men’s health issues. It is not to be confused with a similar event, called “No Shave November,” which encourages people to stop shaving for the month and “donate what they would otherwise spend on hair grooming to the American Cancer Society.”
The Movember Foundation’s origins date back to 1999, when a group of 80 men from Adelaide, South Australia, came up with idea, coined the term “Movember,” and introduced it to Australia’s “Seven Nightly News.”
Though the Movember Foundation’s events, like the “Mustache Dache,” have been described as “slightly irreverent,” the organization’s commitment to serious issues are underscored by the figures listed on their website, which include:
- The average life expectancy for men in the United States is almost five years less than women (presently 76.2 years compared to 81 years)
- One in two men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime
- One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.
Tom Whiteside, the Business and Community Engagement Manager for the Movember Foundation, told Canyon News, “I think the fact that [the events] are fun is essential in our growth over the last 11 years. It allowed us to be introduced to a base that’s not inherently philanthropic (younger men).”
He continued, “We often talk about Movember as a Trojan horse. Fun is the avenue in participation, and involvement. The mustache is part of that significant, remarkable journey and it leads to a serious conversation; a first-time doctor visit; discussions about family health history; etcetera.”
“We have an internal motto that goes: ‘Having fun, doing good.’” He added, “Fun is at the heart of everything we do and why we are so loved by our base.”
The Movember Foundation has also been a topic of controversy when it was featured in an Australian tabloid, which accused the company of spending a disproportionate amount on running costs and high salaries for its directors.
It was soon determined, though, that their administrative expenses were at 8 percent, well below the US national standard. The national standard for administrative costs today is at around 9.4 percent, according to charitynavigator.org.
Whiteside said, “We are very proud of that number—I don’t know about the Australian campaign. We file a tax form 990. I can only speak about the US executive salaries.”