In 2003, two friends sitting in a bar in Melbourne, Australia, had a conversation about facial hair trends that would sprout into one of the most important health initiatives in the world. Travis Garone and Luke Slattery have “changed the face” of men’s healthcare with The Movember Foundation—a worldwide charity working to raise awareness and funds for prostate and testicular cancer. In the months following this portentous conversation, Travis designed the first Movember logo and sent out emails to friends asking, Are you man enough to be my man? From those emails sent, 30 guys volunteered to take part in the challenge by sporting mustaches throughout the month of November.
Now, ten years later, Movember ranks in the top 100 best NGOs in the world according to the Global Journal based on three key criteria: impact, innovation and sustainability. Through the power of the moustache, this nonprofit’s 30 original Mo Bros have created a movement over 1,127,000 strong.
More and more men understand that they, like women, need to get regular check-ups. Let’s put things in a greater perpsective: 33% of females get cancer; 50% of males get cancer. Funding and social consciousness have been, and are, in inverse proportion to this statistic. In 2006 the government-run National Cancer Institute’s numbers revealed an endemic pattern. According to the New York Times, “Breast cancer receives the most funding per new case, $2,596 — and by far the most money relative to each death, $13,452. Notably, prostate cancer, the most common cancer, receives the least funding per new case at just $1,318. But on a per-death basis it ranks second, with $11,298 in N.C.I. funds.” Movember is clearly addressing a vital thing.
So many of us have had loved ones selected for an unknown journey of cancer; some are still with us and others are resting in peace. In a matter of one week this journey began for Connor Hickey. What once was just a nagging pain in his genitals became testicular cancer. Since the risk of being diagnosed with cancer increases with age, most cases occur in adults who are middle-aged or older. Not for Connor. At the ripe age of 18 he had just started his freshman year of college in Tallahassee, and it couldn’t have been a worse time to be diagnosed. After three months, during the first of two rounds of chemo, Connor’s father Stephen Hickey, a local neurologist, passed away of natural causes. He’d always say to his son while in chemo, “This too shall pass,” which Connor wears as a reminder everyday tattooed on his back.
At an early age Connor’s father instilled the belief that we, as a society, have an obligation to give back and to notice the bright light at the end of a dark tunnel. To this day the inspiration from his family and friends has given him the courage to introduce you to what he hopes will be an annual November event called Preserve Jax’s Jewels. “This event is not only about raising money for a great cause but also about promoting a healthier way of living,” says Olivia Fore, one of the event coordinators and manager of Hickey’s band Fjord Explorer.
Details of this, and several other Movember events, are listed below. The time is rife with opportunities to be philanthropically self-indulgent.
Friday, November 1 Movember Kickoff & Shave Party, 6-9 pm at Dos Gatos. Shave the Date! Kickoff Movember 2013 with a Shave Party at Jacksonville’s best cocktail lounge. Barber of Deville Farrell Stephens from Pomade & Tonic Traditional Barbershop & Tattoo Parlor will be giving straight razor shaves ($25) and electric shaves ($15). All proceeds go to Movember Jax. While supplies last, receive a Dos Gatos shirt with a $25 shave, or a Dos Gatos koozie with a $15 shave. Extend your happy hour with $3 drafts of quality beer, $4 single liquor well drinks and $5 house wine. Members of the Movember Jax Team will be on hand to help you register online and explain how you can get involved to help “change the face of men’s health.” 
Sunday, November 3 New South Roller Derby Double-header, 10 am at Skate Station Orange Park. New South Roller Derby is hosting a double-header event to raise money for the Movember movement. The event will feature 54 of Florida’s finest co-ed roller derby players and some amazing sports and apparel vendors. The first bout begins at 10 am, at Skate Station Orange Park (230 Blanding Blvd), followed by a second bout at 6 pm. Buffalo’s Cafe (6055 Youngerman Circle) will host a half-time party from 12:30-5:30 pm. Tickets are $10 for one bout, $15 for both. 
Wednesday, November 6 Movember Jax at Art Walk 5:30 pm at The Carling. Movember Jax will be at Artwalk Downtown with the Jacksonville Jaycees selling a fresh, new batch of Intuition Ale Works Movembrew. Swing by and register for Movember, enjoy some fantastic beer, and visit with your Movember Jax team and the Jacksonville Jaycees.
Friday, November 22 Preserve Jax’s Jewels 7 pm at Burro Bar. Celebrate the complete remission of Connor Hickey’s testicular cancer with a benefit featuring five local bands: On Guard (8-8:45) JacksonVegas (9-9:45), Dog Apollo (10-10:45), Civil Brute (11-11:45) and Fjord Explorer (12-12:45). A silent auction will also take place thanks to generous contributions from M Body Yoga, Verde Eco Salon, JaxLive, Black Sheep, Orange Garden Productions, Southern Roots Apothecary, Never Again Photography, Brian Bernard Art, Jax Laridae, Nathaniel Artkart Price, Jewels by Lubeck, First Place Sports, and Ananda Kula-Yoga and Holistic Healing. All of the proceeds from this event will be donated to Movember. 18-21 $10/ 21+ $5, additional donations are happily welcomed.
Saturday, November 30 Best in Mo Wrap Up Party 8 pm to midnight at Whiskey River. $10 to get in, which gets you your first drink free and 15% off of your food purchase.