Deniliquin man Dave Downie’s efforts to shave his bushy beard for the local ‘Beards of Hope’ fundraiser was a massive success.
Teaming with local woman Lizzie Murphy, Mr Downie ended up clean shaven for the first time in 18 years in order to raise awareness and money for Bears of Hope.
The shave was held at the White Lion Hotel on Saturday afternoon.
Bears of Hope supports and cares for families who experience the loss of a baby, providing crucial information and embracing families during their difficult time of loss, and beyond.
Miss Murphy, who along with her partner Chris Sutton tragically lost their son, was thankful for the support the town has given the cause.
‘‘The whole community has been so incredible,’’ she said.
‘‘From donations of money and raffle prizes, to buying raffle tickets, coming along on shave day for support, and even baking cakes and slices for our stall, the support that I have had has been absolutely incredible. I am so thankful.
‘‘We set out to reach a total of $2,500, but by the time the last of the donations and cheques have cleared, we will have doubled it, making a total of $5,000 for Bears of Hope.
‘‘I am especially thankful to the White Lion Hotel for having us and for their contribution to the cause.
‘‘I would of course like to thank Dave and Nikki Downie. I couldn’t have done it without them.’’
Mr Downie said losing his facial hair had taken ‘‘some adjusting’’.
‘‘I feel a big difference; the breeze on the cheeks and chin is colder that’s for sure,’’ he said.
‘‘A lot of people have given me a ‘double take’ when they first see my beard’s gone.
‘‘I’ve also had a lot of people saying what a great cause we supported so that has really made it worthwhile as it brings attention to the Bears of Hope foundation and what they are about.
‘‘The most common comment is that it makes me look a lot younger!’’