(November 27, 2012)

College joins Movember, Port City Staches to raise money for prostate cancer

SHREVEPORT, LA — Several male members of the Centenary student body, faculty, and staff are teaming up to promote awareness of men's health issues and prostate cancer by taking part in Movember. Throughout the month of November, participants grow mustaches while raising money to support the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG Foundation.

Centenary Movember participants
Troy Messina, Charles Madden, Jeremy Johnson

"Growing our mustaches is a silly way to bring attention to a serious issue—prostate cancer and other men's health issues—that often go ignored," said Jeremy Johnson, Centenary Associate Director for Digital Media. "We're doing what we can to get a conversation started."

Johnson, along with Centenary student Charles Madden and Professor Troy Messina have joined an official Movember team, the Port City Staches. Johnson's friend Matt Weeks formed the team because his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009.

"I was hit hard when I found out that my dad had prostate cancer but because he stayed on top of his annual checkups, the doctors were able to catch it early before it spread to the rest of his body," said Weeks, a graphic designer for Gremillion & Pou Marketing Inc. "After learning about Movember, I jumped at the opportunity to help promote awareness for men's health. I created Port City Staches for my dad and the many men out there that pass on their annual checkups out of embarrassment. This is my drive—why I choose to make a difference."

In 2011, over 854,000 Movember participants around the world raised $126.3 million USD, an increase of $43.3 million USD over the prior year. The United States campaign alone raised $15 million in 2011.

Though the mustache growth is for a serious cause, Johnson and company are still having fun with the strange looks they get:

"My co-workers have had trouble taking me serious lately, and at first I felt a little odd venturing out into public. But, I've since embraced the mustache and am wearing it with pride!"

To donate to the Port City Staches team and support prostate cancer awareness, visit portcitystaches.com.