Beard Up Boys raise $22,000

The beards are off! The community spirit was on show at the third annual Beard Up Boys Big Shave Off held on August 26 at the Oriental Hotel in Springwood.

Attended by 150 people, the day was a huge success with the fundraising goal of $20,000 surpassed at $22,507.

Shave-off time: Geoff Starr, Matt McLaren and Matthew Priora lose their beards at the hands of Bianca Mathieson and Tony Mathieson from The Gun Shearer.

Shave-off time: Geoff Starr, Matt McLaren and Matthew Priora lose their beards at the hands of Bianca Mathieson and Tony Mathieson from The Gun Shearer.

This annual fundraiser, inspired by a Mountains family who has two kids with ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T), a debilitating genetic neurodegenerative disorder, was well supported by the community with more than 40 businesses getting on board to donate cash, goods and services.

The kids’ father, Craig Muddle from Faulconbridge, said he was “humbled by the amazing generosity of our local community, many of whom I don’t even know yet there they were at our event spending money and helping kids like mine.”

For the past three years Beard Up Boys has been run by a volunteer committee – all friends of Mr Muddle – raising more than $42,000.

This year the fundraising included a formal launch, golf day and high tea, as well as the shave-off. They had 44 registered participants for the shave including student Matthew Priora from Winmalee High School, where Mr Muddle’s children attend, who confidently grew a beard for three months and was the first to be shaved at the event.

The Big Shave Off was attended by Natalie Elkheir, the vice-president of BrAshA-T, the voluntary-run, not-for-profit charity raising awareness of A-T and funding medical research to find a cure.