By Punch Correspondent Attie Poirier
Chances are youâ€™ve probably noticed the resurgence in the number of guys sporting facial hair each fall. What you may not know is that many of these whiskered men are shunning their razors and growing their moustaches to raise the global awareness [handle] bar on menâ€™s health issues through the Movember movement.
The Movember (read: moustache + November) concept is simple enoughâ€”male participants fundraise throughout the month while transforming their clean-shaven faces into tableaus of foregone popular moustache trends (ladies also participate in fundraising as Mo Sistas). Facial hair and fundraising updates sprout up on Facebook and other social sites, as guys attempt their best Salvador Dali, Fu Manchu and other classic moâ€™s.
During the eveningâ€™s remarks, British Deputy Ambassador to the U.S. Philip Barton, who champions the embassy competition, expressed his thoughts about the importance of the movement. He noted that men donâ€™t always take their health seriously and remarked on the successes of the global Movember movement since its founding in 2003. â€œHats off to Australia for the export,â€ Barton noted, acknowledging the movementâ€™s founders who launched â€œthe fun and impactful campaign that makes a real difference in our health, our sonâ€™s health, our uncleâ€™s health, and our loved oneâ€™s health.â€
Barton also recognized the highest male and female campaign fundraisers as Mr. and Ms. Movemberâ€”Matthew Knight (U.K.) and Margaret McElvein (Australia)â€”and awards were given for the Most Impressive and Lamest Moustaches. While both the British wittily named â€œStiffer Upper Lipsâ€ and Australian â€œMoâ€™Supialsâ€ teams raised more than $5,500 in the race to the title, in the end Barton was pleased to announce that the Brits finished first. In total, this yearâ€™s competition banked $12,511 through â€˜stache sponsorships and other events, bringing the three-year pot raised to nearly $42,000 through the friendly, inter-embassy competition between the Brits and Aussies. Not too shabby, unlike some of the moâ€™s on display.
Guests enjoyed the eveningâ€™s light-hearted fun, which was more typical of the scene at your favorite local bar than some embassy events, while snacking on pub food and sipping specialty gin cocktails courtesy of sponsor Bulldog Gin (drinks were stirred, not shaken). Moustache-toting cut-outs of James Bond, arguably the most quintessential pop culture British export ever to seduce the big screen, also peppered the room for the Double Moâ€™ Seven-themed event (Side note: check out the Spy Museumâ€™s special exhibition commemorating 50 years of Bond foiling the plots of the worldâ€™s most â€œexquisitely evilâ€ villainsâ€”a DC must-see for the double-O enthusiast.)
Cheers to the Brits and Aussies for throwing a jolly good bash for a jolly good cause!
As a Punch Correspondent, Attie contributes stories from the local philanthropic, cultural, foodie and and professional scenes. She always enjoyed visiting family in the D.C. area while moving around as a kid, and decided to make D.C. her home after graduating from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Attie works as a management consultant at a federal government agency and likes dedicating some free time to giving time back to the dynamic D.C. community that she loves. When not working or volunteering, she can often be found playing or refereeing community sports or enjoying good food and great wine in the company of friends and family. She is a travel, photography and art enthusiast who loves to learn what makes others tick. Follow her on Twitter at @attiep21.