A well-known Newry businessman has braved the shave in a bid to raise money for local hospice services in the border town and created an online storm in doing so.
Gary Boyd, the owner of established men's fashion store, Louis Boyd’s Menswear lost his familiar curly locks last week after coming up with the idea as part of the businesses 60th birthday celebrations.
“We had a full itinerary of fundraising events planned in-store before the lockdown was put in place,” explained the charismatic shop owner.
“Unfortunately, like everything else, those ideas had to be shelved, but we felt it important to mark the occasion in some way and give back to a community that has always been so good to us down through the years”.
Working in conjunction with marketing guru Patricia Heaney of I Am Digital Group, and a former employee of Louis Boyd’s from yesteryear, the pair came up with the #HairlessForTheHospice initiative.
And whilst Gary himself has raised over £4500 at time of going to press, it was his foresight in involving some of Newry’s recognisable faces that ensured upwards of £20,000 looks set to be raised in total.
Having kept the watching Newry public up to date with his donation drive via the popular fashion outlets social media channels, the fashionista enlisted the help of a band of merry men including Down county footballers Kevin McKernan, Ryan McAleenan and Caolan Mooney by issuing a rallying call.
“I originally challenged former county star Danny Hughes to go hairless, but we had to settle for a sizeable donation from the Saval man before he passed the buck to Kevin”, joked Gary.
The fad has gathered pace in recent days, with stars such as former Irish Rugby Star Rory Best, Irish international Paul McGrath and actor Laurence Kinlan adding their voices to the clamour for the men of Newry to go bald for the charitable cause.
“It costs £7,000 each day just to ensure our hospice services are maintained and it’s wonderful how, especially at times like this, something that started as a bit of craic to keep the lockdown boredom at bay can result in so much good being done” added Patricia.
Gary and his bareheaded brethren continue to receive donations on their JustGiving page – just search ‘Hairless For The Hospice’ should you wish to become involved.