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Lyons Mane Charitable Challenge raises funds for cancer and mental health charities

November 27, 2023

[LEXINGTON, Kentucky] — This year, as the month of November and the Thanksgiving holiday approached, Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech, and his team decided to do something different to show their gratitude.

Inspired by the No-Shave November movement, they created the Lyons Mane Charitable Challenge, which invites participants to grow a beard or mustache during the month of November to raise funds for six cancer and mental health charities from around the world. Mark was first to sign up. He has been joined by several Alltech team members from around the world who have put down the shaving cream and asked their friends and family to donate.

But the Lyons Mane Charitable Challenge is not just about growing a beard, and it is open to anyone who wants to participate. The initiative invites everyone to take on their own 30-day challenge. Participants have committed to running 100 miles, reading 10 books, practicing a foreign language and tracking their spending to increase their savings. One Alltech team member in Portugal committed to cutting her hair at the end of the challenge and donating it to the Little Princess Trust, a nonprofit in the U.K. that makes wigs for children who have lost their hair during cancer treatment. It is one of the charities being supported by the Lyons Mane Charitable Challenge.

Another team member, herself a brain cancer survivor, shared her cancer journey and committed to raising funds by performing acts of kindness for 30 days. So far, she’s raised $650.

By mid-November, the challenge had met its original fundraising goal of $10,000, so they increased it to $15,000. It’s something his father, Alltech founder Dr. Pearse Lyons, would have done, Mark said.

“When you get close to the goal, you move the posts,” he said. “There is never a destination when it comes to the impact we can make. It has been fantastic to see the engagement of the global team around this initiative. Awareness is the true positive outcome we are achieving here.”

In just over a week, they surpassed the $15,000 goal and increased the goal again — to $20,000.

Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech, has been growing a beard as part of the Lyons Mane Charitable Challenge, which invites participants to grow a beard or mustache during the month of November — or take on a 30-day challenge of their choosing — to raise funds for cancer and mental health charities around the world. He is shown here speaking Monday, Nov. 27 at Alltech ONE Dubai, the final stop of the Alltech ONE World Tour in 2023.

The funds raised will be donated through the Pearse Lyons ACE Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports the philanthropic endeavors of Alltech and the Lyons family, which are often focused on agriculture, education and supporting communities in need. The foundation has supported numerous large-scale projects, including three primary schools in Haiti that ensure the education of more than 1,200 children, and the construction of over a dozen state-of-the-art science laboratories at primary schools in Kentucky and Ireland.

The Pearse Lyons ACE Foundation also supports the Alltech-University of Kentucky Vocal Scholarship Competition, one of the largest competitions of its kind in the world; GreenHouse17, a Kentucky organization that provides resources to survivors of partner abuse; on-the-ground disaster relief in communities around the world; and programs that address the urgent needs of farmers and their communities amid natural disasters.

Donations to the Pearse Lyons ACE Foundation are matched, which means every dollar donated can make an even greater impact.

In addition to the Little Princess Trust, the Lyons Mane Charitable Challenge will benefit:

  • Pieta (Ireland), a mental health/self-harm/suicide awareness and support organization
  • National Breast Cancer Foundation (U.S.), which provides early detection, education and support services to those affected by breast cancer
  • Do More Agriculture Foundation (Canada), an organization that champions the mental well-being of those in the Canadian agriculture industry
  • Prostate Cancer Foundation (U.S.), the leading organization dedicated to funding life-saving prostate cancer research
  • Cactus Instituto (Brazil), a nonprofit philanthropic and human rights entity that works to expand care in disease prevention and mental health promotion in Brazil.

“These global health challenges affect millions of us around the world, and I personally felt the impact of both more this past year than any other,” Mark said. “We have invited everyone to commit to a challenge of their choice, and we have been overwhelmed by the generosity and response of our friends, family and communities.”

Even though November is drawing to a close, it is not too late to join the challenge — or cheer on its participants by donating through their individual challenge page. And Tuesday, Nov. 28 is a perfect day to donate: It’s Giving Tuesday, a global generosity movement that encourages people to support and contribute to charitable causes. It takes place each year after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Visit the Lyons Mane website to learn more and make a donation.