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Movember 2022 with JMo’SB

Been ‘staching away my Movember motivation

Now that we are in November, many may associate this month with the events linked to Movember.

In case you have been living under a rock, let me break down what Movember is exactly.

Movember is the mustache-growing charity event that occurs all throughout the course of November. The people who choose to participate in Movember donate to charities that support Men’s mental health initiatives. As well as bring awareness to men’s physical health issues like prostate cancer. 

Now you might be asking yourself, Movember sounds great but how can I support these events as a student here at Concordia?

This is where the JMo’SB team at Concordia comes into play. In case you have never heard of JMo’SB, they are a non-profit sub-committee within the Commerce and Administration Student Association (CASA) cares. Their entire purpose is to raise money for men’s mental health initiatives throughout the month of November.

The team first started back in 2011 when a group of JMSB students came together to raise funds for Movember. 

Fast-forward to last year, the JMo’SB team raised over $42,000 for men’s mental health initiatives. This year the team is aiming to raise over $50,000. If you would like to donate, please visit this page.

The president and co-president of JMo’SB, Liam Pinsonneault-Emond and Andrea Valcarcel gave The Concordian the inside scoop on what’s happening for Movember.

“We don’t actually have an event on November 19th for International Men’s Day but we have a lot of other events happening throughout the month,” Valcarcel said.  “For example on November 18th we have a mental health day and it’s going to be at HIVE cafe, and it’s in collaboration with John Molson Women and Leadership. There’s going to be a lot of relaxing activities at that event, like decorating cookies, painting tote bags and there are also going to be panelists.”

The Nov. 18 event will be especially special because speakers from the Movember foundation itself will be among the panelists.

“We are also doing a comedy night which is going to be on November 20th at Montreal comedy club. We are actually in contact with the people from the comedy club and we asked them if the comedians could do a Movember theme. They said that they would try and find comedians that could do that,” Valcarcel explained. 

Over the course of Nov. 7-11, the team also hosted two bake sales to further advance their fundraising efforts. 

The month of November is an exciting time for the JMo’SB to further incite students at Concordia to participate in their events. Emond made a point to emphasize not to forget about one important thing during this month.

“For the people that this could sort of resonate with, if you have men in your life that are close to you, check in with them from time to time,” Emond explained. “Talk to them and make sure that they are okay, it doesn’t sound like much but just asking a guy how his day is going or how he’s doing, it would mean a lot to them.”

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Concordians share their experience of participating in the JMoSB fundraiser

JMoSB comes to an end with over $28,000 raised

For JMoSB’s Movember fundraiser, all its members chose their own way to raise money and spread awareness for men’s health, particularly mental health.

Some members of the John Molson School of Business Movember team, a subsidiary of CASA Cares, sold pins, some found sponsors and prizes for raffles and competitions, and others did push-ups. But they all had the same goal: raising funds for the John Molson School of Business Movember fundraiser.

Sally Vu, the co-director of external relations for JMoSB, is majoring in Human Resource Management. Her mental health awareness project consisted of sharing video journals of 22 different men, each talking about their experience with and opinion on men’s mental health.

Jason Lobasso, a third-year finance student at JMSB, contributed to Vu’s video journals. He said that men’s mental health should be a subject that’s more talked about.

“I think it’s great that we, as a society, are collectively engaging in conversation about it more and more as time passes,” he said. “No one should ever be ashamed to open up and speak up on what’s on their minds. We should be prioritizing dialogue as much as we can.”

Vu received many donations with the help of her campaign, but since she wanted to do more, she decided to collaborate with Mary Colombo, the owner of a small Montreal-based online business, @artxfeels. Colombo sells customized accessories through her Instagram account. She graduated from Concordia in 2018 and has previously participated in another fundraising initiative.

“A couple months ago, I decided I wanted to raise money for the MUHC [McGill University Health Centre] foundation,” Colombo said. “So, I designed Ça va bien aller pins, and 100 per cent of the profits went to the foundation.”

Colombo said that when Vu asked her to collaborate, she was more than happy. She made mustache pins and sold each pin for $5, with all profits going to the fundraiser.

Karim Hatem, co-director of external relations, is in charge of media presence, as well as finding sponsors to provide prizes related to mental health care or self-care in general, including spa packages from Bota Bota. Hatem is in his second year at JMSB, doing a double major in Marketing and Human Resource Management. He will be posting a video of him doing push-ups, depending on how much money he raises.

“If I raise $100, then I’ll do 100 push-ups,” he said.

Neil Kafidi, vice president (VP) of external for JMoSB, is majoring in International Business with a minor in Finance. His role also consists of finding sponsors and prizes for different competitions and raffles, similar to Hatem’s role. To do that, Kafidi gets in touch with companies and asks them for monetary or material donations, which would be used for the raffles.

He received a $1,000 donation from Imperial Tobacco, and many products from Pharmaprix, including a laptop, a tablet, and a camera.

Most members joined the Movember team because they wanted to help raise awareness and funds for an important cause, but they also have more personal reasons for why they decided to apply.

“It’s a bit more personal for me,” Hatem said. “A friend of mine has mental health issues, so I wanted to help raise awareness, and that’s why I joined and decided to focus more on the mental health aspect of Movember,” he added, referring to the self-care prizes he acquired for the competitions.

For Kafidi, joining JMoSB was just about giving back.

“I feel like when you’re lucky enough to be in a good situation and when you can help, it’s always important to help because not everyone has the same luck,” he said. “And I believe in good karma too. If you do something good, then something good is always going to come back to you.”

He also explained that he initially applied for the VP internal position, which consists of communicating with the team and organizing their meetings. However, he was offered the VP external position, which allowed him to talk to more people, including possible sponsors. He said he was happy to take on a more challenging position.

“I got to discover a new way to get out of my comfort zone,” Kafidi concluded.

“For me, the most important part is mental health,” Vu said. “The more I reached out to people during the pandemic, the more I realized we’re going through a lot, everyone individually. That’s why I wanted to do this campaign, to share everyone’s stories.”

Colombo loved Vu’s idea of sharing testimonies of men.

“I feel like I’ve never seen that being done,” she said. “And I think that in regards to men’s health, it’s something that’s often overlooked, and because of that, I feel like they were extremely strong for talking about it on social media.”

All the members learned something different from their experience fundraising for men’s mental health.

“I learned a lot about myself, about the cause and about how people really feel,” Vu concluded. “It’s a great initiative and I plan on reapplying next year.”

“I think I’d like to participate next year too, but maybe have another position, to see things from a different angle and learn new things,” Hatem concluded.

 

Logo courtesy of John Molson School of Business Movember team

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Putting Mo back in JMoSB: Taking a quick look at JMoSB’s 2020 Movember campaign

Through the hard work and dedication of the JMoSB team, this year’s Movember campaign is set to be the most successful in recent memory.

The JMoSB team, a subsidiary branch of Casa Cares, kicked off the 2020 Movember campaign on Nov. 1. The Movember campaign is the annual initiative to help raise funds and spread awareness for issues related to men’s prostate cancer and mental health.

While the Movember campaign is just one of the many student-led initiatives that Casa Cares runs throughout the year, the JMoSB team solely operates during the month of November to oversee the Movember campaign.

This year’s initiative comprises both an extensive social media campaign as well as numerous independently-led projects by the individual members of the JMoSB team.

So far, this year’s campaign has helped to raise over $18,717 already surpassing the initial fundraising goal set for the entire month. It’s an impressive accomplishment considering the economic downturn due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re doing really good so far,” said Jessica Doyle, executive vice president of the JMoSB team, when asked about the accomplishments of her team this year. “We’re hoping to pass what [the previous JMoSB team] were able to raise last year and honestly, I think we are on the right track for that.”

All the money raised during the campaign is donated to the Canadian division of the Movember organization. From there, the funds are distributed amongst 1,250 different men’s health associations and scientific studies. A comprehensive list of the projects that the Movember organization funds can be found on the Movember organization’s website.

If the JMoSB team is able to keep fundraising at this current pace, then not only will this year’s campaign achieve its objective of raising more funds than last year, it will become the most successful campaign run in recent memory.

While fundraising still remains one of its core values, The JMoSB team has recently shifted its focus away from raising funds, and towards raising awareness. This year’s campaign has had the unprecedented challenge of conducting the campaign entirely online, as red zone restrictions in Montreal have prevented their traditional fundraising events from taking place.

In light of these circumstances, the JMoSB team has gone with the Movember Mo’ Match-up Cup initiative to spearhead this year’s campaign in place of bake sales in years past. The initiative is styled as a knockout competition, the competitors being the many different student-run associations within JMSB.

Based on a similar structure to the Stanley Cup playoffs, each week teams face off against one another to get the most points with the winning team advancing to the next bracket.

Every week, points are awarded to the remaining teams based on total shares and money each team is able to raise. The teams with the least amount of points at the end of each round are eliminated. The team who makes it to the end of the month is crowned the winner.

The Movember Gala, the main event traditionally held at the end of November, will be replaced this year by a remotely administered Mo’talking panel. The panel will feature mental health experts who will discuss a variety of topics associated with mental health, as well as answer participants’ questions on the matter. The event is open to the general public and will take place on Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. EST over Zoom.

In association with its official campaign, many members of the JMoSB team have begun their own personal initiatives to help raise funds and awareness for Movember.

Third-year marketing student and JMoSB team member Angélique Dinh-Vu uses her Instagram account to sell second-hand and donated clothing with the profits going to the Movember campaign.

So far, she has helped raise over $400 in the span of 10 days for the Movember organization and hopes to raise $200 more before the end of the month. She also helps to educate the public on mental health issues by integrating important facts about mental health into her promotional videos and posts.

Students interested in getting involved with the Movember innovative can register for the Mo’talking panel here, or can donate to the Casa Cares Movember campaign on the Movember organization’s official website.

 

Logo courtesy of Casa Cares JMoSB team

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