Australia hopes to remain the world’s top moustache money-maker as it coasts towards breaking last year’s $20 million fundraising mark in the Movember campaign.
More than 129,000 Aussies binned their razors this November to support men’s health alongside mo-growers from eight other countries.
“We’ve been blown away by the support we’ve received and its helped us achieve our most successful year to date in terms of registrations and hopefully in terms of fundraising,” Movember spokesman Jim Slattery said on Wednesday of Australia’s performance.
“This is an incredible effort and everyone involved should be incredibly proud.”
Australians have already raised $18.33 million and are competing in a tight race with Canadians, who have so far raised $19 million, to be the highest fundraisers.
Donations will continue to be counted until April.
Raising awareness since 2004
Australia has been the highest fundraising country since the cause began here in 2004.
The charity benefits the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and beyondblue, which addresses issues associated with depression, and raises awareness of men’s health.
Beyondblue chair Jeff Kennett said fundraising would be spent on research and the delivery of services to prevent and assist men suffering from anxiety and depression.
“I want to personally thank all of those Australian males, who like me have just had the itchiest month of their life,” he said.
“I also want to thank their `mo sistas’ who have worked to raise the awareness of depressive illnesses among males.”
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia chief executive Andrew Giles said money would also fund 57 prostate cancer research grants around the country that looked into areas like the development of anti-tumour drugs.
In addition to individual efforts, contributions were also raised through a P&O cruise ship sporting a 30ft moustache, a Mo installation erected in a Melbourne laneway, a giant Mo sand sculpture on Sydney’s Bondi Beach and the creation of a Mr Mo character by the creators of Mr Men.