British and Australian Embassies Toast a Successful Movember

By Punch Correspondent Attie Poirier

Chances are you’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 men’s health issues through the Movember movement.

The Movember (read: moustache + November) concept is simple enough—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 mo’s.

British Deputy Ambassador to the U.S. Philip Barton honors the U.K.’s Matthew Knight as Mr. Movember.

British Deputy Ambassador to the U.S. Philip Barton honors the U.K.’s Matthew Knight as Mr. Movember

 

Movember enthusiasts celebrate “Embassy Mo’s on Embassy Row” festivities. L to R: Americans Alex Nguyen, Attie Poirier, Holly Norman, Kate Norman share a toast with Richard Lindley, an embassy employee from Bedfordshire, England.

Movember enthusiasts celebrate “Embassy Mo’s on Embassy Row” festivities. L to R: Americans Alex Nguyen, Attie Poirier, Holly Norman, Kate Norman share a toast with Richard Lindley, an embassy employee from Bedfordshire, England

During the evening’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 don’t always take their health seriously and remarked on the successes of the global Movember movement since its founding in 2003. “Hats off to Australia for the export,” Barton noted, acknowledging the movement’s founders who launched “the fun and impactful campaign that makes a real difference in our health, our son’s health, our uncle’s health, and our loved one’s health.”

Barton also recognized the highest male and female campaign fundraisers as Mr. and Ms. Movember—Matthew Knight (U.K.) and Margaret McElvein (Australia)—and awards were given for the Most Impressive and Lamest Moustaches. While both the British wittily named “Stiffer Upper Lips” and Australian “Mo’Supials” 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 year’s competition banked $12,511 through ‘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 mo’s on display.

Guests enjoyed the evening’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 Mo’ Seven-themed event (Side note: check out the Spy Museum’s special exhibition commemorating 50 years of Bond foiling the plots of the world’s most “exquisitely evil” villains—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!

About Attie Poirier:
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.
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