As evidenced from the moustaches that are probably popping up in your office, Movember is in full swing. We interviewed James Parsons of Medhat Movember, a Canadian Movember team that has defied all expectations.
How did Medhat Movember get its start?
About five years ago, a group of businessmen in Medicine Hat met up to pool their resources and contacts to create a Movember team. We wanted to raise funds for Movember together while supporting our moustache growing efforts in a fun and competitive way. The first year, we had over 100 members and raised over $60,000, which was really fantastic.
Is there another Movember movement in Medicine Hat? How do you interact with other Canadian groups?
There are other small pockets of Movember supporters in Medicine Hat, usually independent businesses or organizations. We try to get them to join MedHat Movember so we can unify as a team to generate more awareness and raise more money. We keep up with other Canadian groups through the Movember website and consistently place high in the rankings of donations.
What’s been the largest obstacle you’ve had to overcome so far? In turn, what has been your greatest accomplishment?
Medicine Hat is a city of only 60,000 people. So getting Members to join the team, year after year, can be a challenge. Everyone has a different philanthropic focus and sometimes people can change that focus each year. We’ve had to be creative in finding ways to get people to come back to the team other than just raising money for a good cause. By the same token, we also feel that to be able to build a team that has raised well over $110,000 in the last 3 years between 280 members. In a city of this size, we are proud of this accomplishment.
What’s been the key to spreading the word on the web and in Medicine Hat?
We’ve used a combination of online and offline media to get the message across town. Partnering with local newspapers, radio stations, and a segment on the local TV news has brought a lot of attention. But we use the media attention to push people to the website, where we hope people sign up and generate more awareness about MedHat Movember. We’ve also gotten a group of Mo Bros on the team that are diligent on social media.
What’s the best way for people to give you a hand?
We’re always looking to get more awareness of Movember out there and helping change the face of men’s health. So, follow us on Twitter and feel free to donate to our campaign!