Members of Randall’s social club from left; Randall Uitendaal, Sonny Komene, Izzy Komene, Gavin Hill, Kharyl Annan, Shane Warland, Duane Hughes, Murray Leitch, Neil Kelly, Craig Ashton, Murray Griffith and Brenda Mathews. Photo: Andrew Board.

Pub patrons go hairy for charity

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When Neil Kelly went to the airport to pick up his partner after a holiday in Europe she didn’t even recognise him and walked straight past. It is just one of the side effects of growing a beard for the first time in his life.

Neil is being joined by nine other men and five women from Randall’s Cafe & Bar social club in an effort to raise money for the Nelson Tasman Hospice Trust. It started when the group, based at Randall’s at Victory Square, were thinking of ways they could raise money for charity and a club member suggested a hairy idea.

The challenge is for the men to grow a beard for three months, the women in the group thought it was a laugh so some of the men challenged them to take part too, but by growing the hair on their legs for the same amount of time.

A month into the challenge the group say the worst is over. “A few were coming in scratching and complaining but it’s grown through now so most are happy now,” says social club president Gavin Hill.

Shane Warland, a pest controller, says he spent the first few weeks apologising to customers for his scruffy appearance but now that it’s grown he doesn’t mind it. “My wife and daughter aren’t so keen though,” he joked.

The group is encouraging people to donate to their cause, with every dollar they raise going to the hospice, says Gavin. “We all know someone who’s been through it so we thought we’d give to them.”

To donate simply drop into Randall’s Pub and pop some money in the pot. At the end of the challenge, on September 29, they will have a “public shearing” off at the pub, although the ladies have been told they have to do themselves, joked Gavin.