Jupiter High faculty participates in No-Shave November and Movember


Payton Gottlieb

Jupiter High faculty preparing for No- Shave November

November is commonly known as ‘No-Shave November’ and ‘Movember,’ movements supported by men and women to spread awareness on men’s health. Jupiter High teachers have been participating for nearly a decade hoping to inform people about this cause. 

Both movements raise awareness for men’s health and cancer like prostate and testicular by growing out their facial hair instead of shaving it off.

Brian Kovachik, ceramics teacher, started participating in ‘No-Shave November’ 12 years ago when he learned about the cause.  

“My friends told me that in October, the month of Breast Cancer Awareness, there is a pink ribbon. For November, we call it Movember and use the mustache as the ribbon for men’s health,” Kovachik said. 

John Day, AP Literature teacher, participates in No-Shave November every year for awareness on people’s health.

“I have a friend who had cancer, so he’s part of my inspiration,” Day said. 

George Okell has been participating in No-Shave November for over 10 years. One of his sons is part of a group where both men and women participate and support each other through the month of November every year. 

Ben Kennerson has been an avid participant for 11 years. 

“In about three weeks, they’ll see this big, huge caterpillar growing on my face, and they’ll ask why am I doing this,” Kennerson said. 

Kennerson addresses how hard it is for boys to address how they feel because of the society they grew up in. He brings awareness about the issue of toxic masculinity into Movember. 

“As a little boy growing up in the 80s, you’re always taught to push away your feelings. You’re not tough if you can’t deal with your own issues,” Kennerson said. “As more things come to light, you don’t need to push away your feelings, you need to talk about things and seek help if you need it.” 

These movements are an opportunity for everyone to participate and work together to spread awareness on a topic not widely talked about. 

“My grandfather had prostate cancer and my father died young of cancer, so it’s very important for me to help people be aware of mental health and physical health and one way to do that is by having a mustache,” Kovachik said. 

The start of Movember 

Travis Garone and Luke Slattery were two friends from Australia who started the Movember tradition. In 2003, they thought it would be a funny idea to convince their friends to grow a mustache. Garone and Slattery were inspired by a friend’s mother who was fundraising for breast cancer. They then came up with the idea that the mustache would relate to the pink ribbon, but for men. That year, they spread the word and grew from two men to 450 in November. Garone and Slattery’s movement expanded and raised more money each year.

What is Movember today?

The movement has grown a tradition and is recognized and enacted by many men and women. The movement spreads awareness for men’s health issues like prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health. The original way to participate in Movember is to only grow a mustache. The Movember website has different mustache options to choose from.

No-shave November

In 2007 Mathew Hill, father of eight, died from colon cancer. The Hill family took the popular No-Shave November tradition in 2009 and reinvented it to be a movement to raise money for cancer. Most participants donate the money they would use on hair grooming and razors to help organizations like No Shave November to raise money for prostate and testicular cancer. The money allows more cancer research to be done and helps cancer patients overall.