Movember: Qantas Celebrates by Growing a ‘Mo’

 @MarkJohansonIBT
on November 14 2011 5:20 PM

One Qantas plane is looking shaggier than the others these days. That's because the Australian airline decided to celebrate Movember by painting the one lucky aircraft with a mo.

Mo is Australian slang for mustache.

We call it the hairy ribbon, Adam Garone, Movember CEO and one of the group's four co-founders, told MSNBC. Our motto is, 'Changing the face of men's health.' We want to use growing a mustache to get men talking about prostate cancer, and this is a fun way to do it.

According to Garone, Movember began in 2003 as an attempt to bring the mustache back into fashion. The next year, they decided to do it again - this time for a good cause.

They approached the local headquarters of the Prostate Cancer Foundation to announce their plans. While the organization said it would welcome their donations, it was reluctant to be affiliated with the month-long drive.

In that first year, Garone and his friends raised $55,000 and the craze took off from there.

Currently, Movember aims to raise vital funds and build awareness about overall men's health, specifically prostate cancer and depression in men.

Last week, Qantas announced its support for Movember as an extension of its partnership with Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. In addition to the wildly-mustachioed Boeing 737-800, a giant mustache was installed on the exterior of Sydney Domestic Airport's Terminal 3.

The Movember painted aircraft and moustache on Qantas Terminal 3 shows our support in building awareness of prostate cancer among passengers, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.

Qantas is honored to be showing its support for Movember and helping to get vital health and awareness messages out far and wide, Joyce added.

The Movember campaign hits close to home for Joyce. Earlier this year, he was tested and discovered that he had an aggressive form of prostate cancer. Fortunately, he was able to have a quick operation and was back to work within a few weeks.

If it weren't for early detection, there is every chance I would have been dead within 10 years, Joyce said. As a survivor of prostate cancer, I am passionate about bringing greater awareness to men who are most at risk.

Jason Hincks, Chief Operating Officer of Movember, said he was grateful for the support Qantas is providing.

Seeing a mustache sprout on the nose of a plane has long been an ambition of the team at Mo HQ and we're all very excited to see this finally happening, thanks to Qantas, Hincks said. Movember was born in Australia back in 2003 and so we see the partnership with this iconic Australian brand as a very natural one.

Qantas encouraged its staff to grow a mo for Movember and will offer prizes for the best stache.

Movember brushed into North America in 2007 and, according to the organizers, boasts nearly 500,000 global participants and has raised $174 million over the years.

To learn more about growing a mo, visit the official Movember Web site.

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