Zookeeper. Police officer. Dan Miller has heard it all, but the comments don't deter the Westminster resident from growing out his 'stache for a good cause.
Men like Miller are skipping frequent shaves and growing out their facial hair to raise cancer awareness for No Shave November and promote men's health for Movember.
Miller created a Movember team called Maryland Staches. The team is made up of 11 former or current residents of Carroll County. This is Miller's first year participating in Movember.
"I've grown a moustache before, and all the stuff [in October] with breast cancer awareness was really cool," he said. "I thought because I've grown a moustache for fun, it would be cool to grow a moustache for a good cause and raise awareness for men's health."
The Movember Foundation is an organization that aims to change the face of men's health and raise funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health issues. Participants, known as "mo bros," can start a team or work individually. To date, the foundation has supported 832 men's health projects in 21 countries.
No Shave November is a nonprofit organization that has partnered with the American Cancer Society to raise cancer awareness. Participants can start a team, go solo or donate directly to the American Cancer Society.
There are several ways to get involved locally but if you plan to partake, remember, anything goes for No Shave November but for Movember, you can only grow a moustache.
A physical education teacher in Frederick County, Miller said the reactions he's received from students have been pretty interesting.
"All the students think it's pretty funny. They say I look like a police officer. Today, someone told me I look like a zookeeper," he said.
"That's exactly what the Movember Foundation wants to happen. When someone brings up my moustache, I have the chance to bring up men's health statistics and things like that."
Miller says anyone and everyone should participate — even ladies.
"You don't necessarily have to grow a moustache to participate. My mom is part of the team, so you can be a girl and do it," he said.
Movember refers to its female participants as "mo sistas." While the sistas don't grow mo's, they can still donate and promote men's health awareness.
Memories Charcoal House in Mount Airy is hosting a Movember party tonight, 9 p.m. to close. Mr. Boh, Natty Boh's one-eyed mascot with a handlebar moustache, will be in attendance. Memories will donate 10 percent of the party proceeds to the Movember Foundation.
This is the second year Memories has thrown a Movember party. Owner Andrea Strup said the parties are held "just to raise awareness."
"We get involved in the breast cancer walk in Mount Airy every year; and just last year, I became aware of growing moustaches for men's health, and I wanted to raise money for men's health as well," she said.
"What we did last year is the most creative moustache was awarded prizes, and we donated a portion of the sales, so we just encourage people to come out."
North Carroll High School is holding their second annual No Shave November Competition and Fundraiser.
Last year, only teachers grew out their facial hair, but this year, the competition pits teachers against students.
"We have really good student interest," said Jim MacDonald, the teacher coordinating the competition and fundraiser.
"We're going to have one teacher and one student winner. Winning is based on who gets the most donations."
Teacher and students alike are growing out their funkiest mo's, beards and goatees.
"I chuckle when I see some of them," MacDonald said.
Pictures of the candidates are shown each day during a school-wide morning PowerPoint to give students an idea of who they want to vote for.
Teachers, staff and students typically make donations during lunch to the guy of their choice and all donations will be sent to the American Cancer Society at the end of the fundraiser.
MacDonald said the competition and fundraiser are good ways for students to give back.
"It's two-fold," he said. "Like everybody else, we're trying to raise money but we're also trying to raise awareness."
Reach Sarah Hainesworth at 410-857-7873 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show us your sweet 'stache
Are you growing a beard or moustache for No Shave November/Movember? Send a before and after picture to email@example.com along with your name and town for publication in an online photo gallery.
No Shave November: no-shave.org
If you go
Carroll County Breaking News
What: Movember party, with 10 percent of all proceeds benefiting the Movember Foundation.
Where: Memories Charcoal House, Mount Airy Shopping Center, 403 E. Ridgeville Blvd., Mount Airy
When: 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20
More information: Call 301-829-2264
Want to get involved through social media?
For every picture posted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr with #chickenstache, Dairy Queen and Dr. Pepper will donate a dollar to No Shave November.
For every picture with #5mileshadow or #NewtonRunning, Newton Running Co. will donate a dollar to No Shave November.