Formerly known as winter, Beard Season is a time for gentlemen to grow a fine field of facial follicles.
Using these bushy billboards as life saving conversation starters – inspiring friends and family to get a skin check and make a donation to a targeted, national skin check program. Bringing screening services to communities who need it most.
The challenge began eleven years ago after the death of a bloke by the name of Wes Bonny, who was killed by a suss looking spot on his neck that he didn’t know was bad until it was too late. At his wake, Wes’s friends did some research and found that Australian men are two times more likely to die from skin cancer than women, and those most at risk were aged between 18 – 45.
Thankfully… over 98% of skin cancers can be successfully treated if they’re detected early – so they decided to come up with an idea to turn those most at risk into powerful advocates. After spying a couple of farmers in the corner of the bar with wild bushy beards, the group of friends found the ‘in your face reminder’ they needed, and decided to grow their beards each winter and rename it ‘Beard Season’.
This wooly winter challenge has grown into quite a movement. With thousands of ambassadors joining the cause, growing magnificent chin warmers and helping those around them to visit their GP or skin cancer clinic for a skin check.
Scott Maggs, formerly known as Jimmy Niggles Esq. kept growing his beard since the first ‘Beard Season’ back in 2010, challenging himself to meet someone new every day and share Wes’ story. Not only did this help grow the charity and the profile of early detection, it introduced him to the likes of Chris Hemsworth, Deborah Hutton and Sir Richard Branson – who was so impressed with his journey that he invited him to attend a leadership course at Necker Island.
Last year, during a brief no-lockdown window, Jimmy shaved his beard off (in one piece) at the Million Dollar Beard Ball, hosted by billionaire businessman Justin Hemmes, MC’d by Hamish Blake and Michael ‘Wippa’ Wipfli. The ‘Million Dollar Beard’ is now framed and is available for media appearances, with Scott leaving his ‘Jimmy Niggles Esq. pseudonym,’ to partake in ‘Beard Season’ like all the other ambassadors for the winter months.
The master charity of Beard Season is Skin Check Champions, and is a DRG-1 Health Promotion non-profit. Its goal is to pioneer the world’s first, targeted, national skin check program. Bringing vital, early detection services to communities most at risk.
Last summer it ran free pop-up skin check clinics up and down the east coast, providing over 1,400 screenings using state of the art technology in a custom designed mobile clinic. The charity aims to build corporate and philanthropic partners to research and pilot its model, and win the support of the Government to roll it out on a national scale.
They have a petition for this program with over 7,000 signatures already and are looking forward to further support.
For more information visit beardseason.com