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Swedish 'Movember' campaign raises millions

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Swedish 'Movember' campaign raises millions
Swedish 'Movember' participants Måns Backlund and Robin Boot. Photo: Movember
11:46 CET+01:00
The number of Swedes participating in the annual moustache growing frenzy has more than doubled compared to 2013, with an estimated three million kronor ($402,000) generated in donations.

Last year the Swedish Movember Foundation registered 5,600 participants and raised 1.5 million kronor. Twelve months later some 12,500 people took part with the amount racked up doubling the 2013 tally. 

"It's been a great year this year. We have more than doubled the amount of people taking part," Lotta Witzell, public relations manager for the Swedish Movember Foundation, told the TT news agency.

'Movember' began in Australia over a decade ago to help raise awareness of men's health issues. Today is a staple part of the calendar in places like the US and Britain as well as catching on in Sweden.

Raising funds to research prostate and testicular cancer is a vital part of the 'Movember' movement. Getting people talking about men's health is equally important say the people behind the campaign.

"That is the point with the moustache, that it will get people talking about men's health. For it's practically impossible to grow a moustache without people asking what you're doing it for," added Witzell.

Among the noteworthy participants this year is IFK Gothenburg goalkeeper John Alvbåge (pictured below). Along with his team-mates and staff at the club they have managed to raise over 50,000 kronor.

"The word 'Movember' starts to get people to sit up. They are all sorts of ages, I've talked with everyone from a 70-year-old man to young girls," Alvbåge told TT.

He admitted it took him a while to get used to his new found whiskers but is now considering keeping the tache.

"I'm pretty happy with it...I haven't decided what to do yet as I'm seldom clean shaven. My children didn't know who I was on the first of November," said the goalkeeper.

The Movember community has raised 3.8 billion SEK to date and funded over 800 programmes in 21 countries. To date, four million moustaches have been grown worldwide as part of the campaign according to the Movember Foundation.

TT/The Local/pr
 

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