HIGH FIVE: Duane Hughes high fives another “shaved head” after having his beard and head shaved for the Nelson Hospice on Sunday. Photo: Andrew Board.

Head shavers celebrate


A dozen social club members have had their beards, heads and even legs shaved in the name of charity.

Formally Randell’s Social Club, the group is now called the Rising Phoenix Social Club after Randell’s Bar at Victory Square closed last month. They decided in the middle of winter to raise some cash for charity and then to grow their beards in the hope they could encourage people to sponsor their efforts. The ladies in the group chipped in too, growing the hair on their legs or having their heads shaved.

After almost three months of growth, the beards and hair all came off on the forecourt of Nelson Motorhomes on Sunday afternoon, in the process raising $1658.50 for the Nelson Tasman Hospice Trust. President of the club, Gavin Hill, says it has been a huge effort and it was great to see everyone together for the big shave, done by Nathan Nukunuku of Chop City Barbers.

“To me it’s a hell of a lot more than I thought we’d get. I thought we’d get between $750 and a grand so we’ve done pretty good and I’d like to thank all those who supported us, especially the Victory fish and chip shop and chemist who let us put a pledge sheet in their stores.”

Gavin says there’s been plenty of “scratching and itching” over the past few months and one beardless man said he was thrilled that he wouldn’t have to wear a beard net at his factory job any more.

Gavin says the social club will stay together and has moved to the Rising Sun. He says they won’t do a beard growing fundraiser again but will do something else next year, “maybe a toenail growing competition”, he joked.

The money raised for the hospice was only part of its haul over the past week. Fundraising coordinator at the hospice trust, Hamish Kennedy, says they were also contacted about a Z Halifax worker who shaved her hair off to raise money for the trust.

Tania Eggers is still collecting after having her hair shaved.