People throughout Thailand and, indeed the world, watched as the floods caused such widespread destruction across huge parts of the nation. The staff at Garden International School were no exception. They, like so many others, wanted to help. A mufti (non-uniform) day followed, raising over 20,000 baht, but it was felt that more could be done.
Garden’s brave teachers grew mammoth moustaches to help flood victims.
A number of the male teachers from the school in Ban Chang, Rayong, had already been talking about Movember, a charity moustache-growing event which aims to raise money for, and increase awareness of, men’s health issues. It was decided that these 11 men would take part in this event, but raise money to help flood victims instead.
The morning of November 1 brought with it the last full shave, and there was much excitement among the teachers. A week later, once moustaches had begun to emerge and questions were being asked by the students, the Movember campaign was formally launched, with an introductory video, which included images of the floods and some mocked-up pictures of what the teachers might look like at the end of the month. The twist in this particular campaign was that the teacher who had had the most money donated to them at the end of the month would have to keep their moustache until the end of the term.
Donations came in thick and fast that very same day and, helped by weekly graphical updates of the contest, continued coming in throughout the month. What had started as a fun activity for our 11 mustachioed heroes soon became fiercely competitive, as the realities of moustache cultivation began to set in. Itchy, hot upper lips and increased morning shaving times followed, in a whole range of styles, from the refined “Errol Flynn”, to the classic “Tom Selleck”, via the “El Bandito”, to the “Victorian Policeman”.
Gamesmanship abounded in the final few days, with the top spot changing hands many times. In the end the early favourite, EAL and Drama teacher Mr Ken, fresh from the recent production of “Mamma Mia!”, nudged ahead by a whisker. He will now be sporting a moustache until the end of the term.
In total, 27,170 baht was raised for the victims of the floods and everyone, except, for the time being Mr Ken, is enjoying a well deserved shave!