The Movember Foundation that raises millions of dollars for men’s health annually began as a challenge between friends to bring the moustache back in style, said Movember co-founder and CEO Adam Garone while speaking to a group of more than 200 members of the greek community Friday evening in Alumni Hall.
Mostly men from Interfraternity Council chapters gathered for Garone’s talk for the culmination of the IFC’s no-shave November philanthropy effort. Jesse Scheinman, vice president of community programs for the IFC, said more than $10,000 has been raised so far in what is the IFC’s first community-scale philanthropy in recent memory.
Garone said he and his friends who started Movember in 2003 were inspired by what the women around them were doing to raise funds and awareness for women’s health issues like breast cancer and wanted to do something similar for men’s health.
“At that time there really weren’t any campaigns for men’s health and we were were shocked to learn that on average men die six years younger than women,” Garone said. “That’s a long time.”
Garone said Movember’s funding priorities are prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health and suicide prevention, and Movember is the biggest fundraiser of prostate and testicular cancer research in the world.
“Usually cancer researchers operate in silos at universities, so we’ve been able to create national and global strategies and connect people who are trying to find cures,” Garone said.
Scheinman said the IFC engaged individual organizations to raise funds by recruiting a couple people within each chapter who were dedicated to getting their chapter motivated.
“We saw that we should be doing a council-wide philanthropy, and we really wanted to work with an organization that was pertinent to our demographic as 18- to 22-year-old males,” Scheinman said. “We found that Movember connected with that vision and those values.”
Scheinman said the IFC’s most recently colonized chapter, Alpha Kappa Lambda, raised the most money on the chapter level and said that speaks volumes about the new chapter as an organization.
Garone also advised attendees on the skills necessary for founding an incredible organization. He said resilience is the most important attribute of an entrepreneur.
“A new company does not need much to start, but it must have the die-hard commitment of the founders,” Garone said.
Garone said founders of organizations should lead by example, make sound decisions and stay humble, because ego is a blinding force.
“You spend the first half of your adult life focusing on being successful, but you get to a point where you start thinking about legacy and reflecting on your life and what you’ve achieved,” Garone said.
Maddi Lasson, a director of service for the Panhellenic Association, said the Movember initiative strengthened the sense of community between the IFC and PHA.
“I think this is one of the first times the IFC has ever done a philanthropy that all of the fraternities could participate in to work together on something that truly affects their community,” Lasson said.
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