Movember, a global campaign that had men growing moustaches in November to raise awareness and money for male cancer charities, said it had a record fund-raising year with the U.K. showing the most participants.
Actors Sylvester Stallone, Daniel Craig, David Spade, and Stephen Fry as well as comedian Ricky Gervais, Formula One driver Jenson Button and soccer player Peter Crouch helped widen the campaign’s appeal.
“It’s word of mouth that’s made it so popular, but also famous names definitely help,” said Ric Boullemier, Movember spokesman. “Guys are notoriously bad at talking about their health so doing something daft and getting people talking makes us all more aware and hopefully saves some lives as well.”
The campaign raised $98.1 million for different prostate and testicular cancer charities, 29 percent more than in 2010, according to the Movember website. About 851,000 people took part, more than double the number in 2010. Britain had the most registrations with more than 252,000 men growing a moustache, raising $23 million, according to the website. Canada had the second most number of registrations at 246,000.
Gervais, who sported a handlebar moustache, tweeted his fans, “Morning Twerps Half way through shaving I paused for Movember. First and last time you will see me like this.” Pop singer Ronan Keating kept his fans updated on his “Novembeard.” Fry tweeted that he may keep his moustache for a “while longer.”
About $166 million has been raised for worldwide cancer charities since Movember began in Melbourne in 2003. The total excludes the amount raised this year.