Throughout the month of November, Jacob Duffy, a junior and brother of University of New Hampshire (UNH) fraternity Alpha Tau Omega (ATO), has been participating and fundraising money for Movember.
The Movember Foundation brings awareness to men’s health, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and the mental well-being of men. The foundation hosts Movember which is an annual event that the ATO brothers (and many others) participate in. The men will be growing a mustache for the month of November to raise awareness for changing the face of men’s health and fundraising money for the foundation.
“The Movement is using the power of the moustache as a tool to start conversations about men’s health,” said Jacob Duffy, a junior in Alpha Tau Omega. “I frequently get questions about my moustache and I love using it as a segue to start talking about the Movember movement and why it is so important to me.”
This will be ATO’s second year participating in Movember. In 2018 the fraternity participated in Movember as a philanthropy event. They hosted a Movember fundraiser and the brothers could grow a mustache in support if they chose to. The fraternity did not participate in 2019, but due to COVID-19 and many in-person events being cancelled, Duffy had the idea to bring back ATO’s participation in Movember this year as a philanthropy event. They brothers have received $1,548 out of their $2,000 goal for 2020. Despite it only being their second year participating in Movember, ATO plans to continue this philanthropy event in the coming years.
Some brothers have taken their philanthropy outside of the fraternity and have begun coordinating their own Movember fundraiser and plans alongside the work their fraternity is doing. Since 2018, Duffy has participated in Movember by growing a mustache. He was introduced to Movember by ATO but continued to participate last year and then brought the idea back to his fraternity this year. He started his own fundraiser and pledged to run 60 miles in total throughout the month of November.
“This is focused on the mental health side of things,” said Duffy. “Every hour, 60 men in the world commit suicide and the 60 miles is to honor those men and to raise awareness for men’s mental health.”
Duffy said that his participation stems from personal experiences. The first reason comes from losing his grandfather a year ago to colon cancer and the second is from his own mental health struggles. Duffy’s goal is to the end the stigma surrounding men’s health and he wants to make sure men are taking care of themselves and seeking health care resources when they need it.
ATO had a Movember “Shave Off” event with Sigma Alpha Epsilon in 2018. During this event people could donate money for the opportunity to shave a brother’s moustache off. ATO wanted to do something similar, but with the pandemic, they decided to plan a virtual event. They intend to have a Zoom call with all the Movember participating brothers, and also invite the public to watch them complete tasks and shave their moustaches off for charity. An example Duffy gave was, someone could donate money to have a brother sing a karaoke song live on Zoom.
ATO brothers did not have to participate in Movember, but Duffy said that one incentive to participate “is to do a good thing for the world.”
Photo Courtesy of Jacob Duffy