Rotarian Tony Marshall from Darlington Rotary shocked his wife Kathy after deciding to shave off his trademark beard for charity.
Not even Kathy, his wife for 41 years, had seen him without a beard. And now his fund-raising efforts have fetched £1,300 for the King’s Foodbank, St Teresa’s Hospice and the NHS Covid-19 Urgent Appeal.
“It’s come as a bit of a shock to everyone, but especially to Kathy because it’s the first time she’s ever seen me without facial hair,” said Tony, in an interview with the Northern Echo.
“They are three great causes that Darlington Rotary has supported over the years and their work is especially important in these unprecedented times.”
Tony, who is 71, revealed he has not been without a beard for 52 years and now, even he is finding it hard to peak at the mirror to see his new look.
“The beard covered a multitude of chins,” he joked.
“It’s frustrating not being able to get out and do the normal things Rotary does to raise money for charity, so I wondered what I could do. It was either the hair or the beard – and I opted for the beard because I’ve got a funny shaped head!”
Darlington Rotary’s President, Sue Campbell, praised Tony for his efforts describing it as a “a brilliant example of original thinking.”
She added: “Darlington Rotary is still working hard to do what it’s done for nearly 100 years – volunteering in the community and raising money to help the less fortunate in society.
“In these lockdown days it’s not as easy, but this initiative was a great way to raise funds and bring people together. Enormous thanks to a now beardless Tony and to those who have donated thus far.”
Daughter Rose is not so sure about her dad’s new look. She’s now offered him £50 to grow back the beard. “He’s not the dad I know,” said Rose.
Anyone wanting to make a donation should visit their fundraising page.