Wareham officer looks to change face of men’s health

By Matthew Bernat | Oct 18, 2016
Photo by: George Dionne Wareham police officer George Dionne is challenging men in town to grow mustaches during November to raise money and awareness for men’s health. Above are Dionne’s before and after pictures from last year.

The mustache: what was once a fashionable staple on the upper lips of police officers has largely fallen out of favor. But Wareham patrol officer George Dionne is launching a campaign to bring it back - for one month at least - all in the hope of raising funds and awareness for men’s health.

For the month of November, Dionne is challenging fellow police, first responders and other men in town to grow mustaches for the Movember Foundation. Founded in 2003, the group has raised money for research and awareness related to prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health.

By growing a mustache, Dionne said the idea is to spark conversations on men’s health – even if the end result is less than flattering.

“They’re associated with old-school policing so it kind of makes sense,” said Dionne. “I look horrible with a mustache, but when you start growing one people ask questions and it’s a chance to explain why I’m doing it.”

Dionne said for many men there’s a stigma when it comes to discussing mental and physical health. Groups such as the Movember Foundation work to erase that notion.

“It’s definitely something that’s close to my heart,” said Dionne, whose father-in-law beat prostate cancer. “Prostate cancer and testicular cancer are tough things for men to talk about because it deals with virility. We need to make those issues that men are more comfortable talking about.”

For Dionne, this is his third year in a row participating in the fundraiser. His fundraising goals have increased steadily. Dionne originally set a goal of $100 and upped it to $250 in 2015. Now, he plans to raise $1,000. People are encouraged to pledge money, either for him personally or Team Wareham, throughout the month.

Those who want to get involved should be clean shaven on Nov. 1 and then let their mustache grow throughout the month. While some people participate in “No Shave November,” a similar event that calls for not shaving at all, Dionne stressed that the mustache is a conversation starter.

“Beards and goatees don’t often get the same attention that a mustache does,” said Dionne.

To make a donation to Dionne or Team Wareham, visit http://mobro.co/rockisgeorge  or http://moteam.co/team-wareham. For more information on the Movember Foundation, visit https://us.movember.com/.

Dionne encouraged all to donate if possible. Every dollar helps, he said.

“I hope everyone can give a little bit,” he said. “If everyone in Wareham donated a dollar, that’s $20,000 right there.”


Comments (2)
Posted by: George Dionne | Oct 23, 2016 15:14

Thank you to Wareham Week for helping spread the word.  Movember hasn't even "officially" started and I've already received some generous donations.  I know that with the Town of Wareham we can reach the $1000 fundraising goal and together we'll help save men's lives.

Posted by: George Dionne | Nov 09, 2016 20:12

UPDATE 11/09/16 - Almost a week and a half into Movember and we've reached 28% of my fund raising goal.  Thanks to your donations.  Fellow Officer Matt Donovan has joined "Team Wareham" to bring our total efforts $405.  We can do this Wareham!  We can help stop men from dying young.

How often do you see a commercial for prostate cancer check-ups? Or testicular cancer check-ups? If we talk more about it, put more into men's cancer programs, and assure men it's okay to be dealing with these issues (you're not weak); then together we can stop men from dying young. Both tests are minimally intrusive guys, there's no reason to be embarrassed. It can save your life!

Please consider supporting my Movember campaign. No amount is too little. Thank you.


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