A RHYL MAN who has grown a bushy ginger beard for charity is heading for a close shave.
Gary Daly, 45 of Rhyl, is looking for a cut-throat barber to trim his 280-day old facial growth, which he has cultivated to raise money and awareness for the Prostate Cancer Charity.
Gary, a postman and keen Everton fan, has raised well over £2500 during his hairy ordeal, and hopes to hit his target of £4000 by the time the grand shave takes place in Elwy Hall on May 21.
Gary said: “I can’t wait to have it off. It’s not itching and it’s not uncomfortable, but I don’t want it on my face! It gets in the way of things.
“But the experience has been got. I get a bit embarrased when I see people looking at it. They don’t realise why I look like this, but once they do, it gets a good response.”
Gary has more than one reason to brave the shave. Not only has the Elwy Hall event sold out, with tickets going at £7.50 apiece, but his birthday is a matter of days later and he is in line for a birthday kiss.
He said: “I haven’t had a kiss since September. It’s been a big no-no with my wife. I’m sure she’ll make up for it when it’s shaved off.”
There is a serious side to the fundraising effort. Gary’s father Joe died of prostate cancer three years ago, and now Gary wants to make people aware of the dangers of the disease, which led to more than 10,000 deaths in 2008.
He said: “The most important thing is that it makes people aware of prostate cancer. The support has been unbelievable. I worked out I’ve raised an average of £100 a week since I started. It’s gimicky, but it’s working! The sponsors are the people who really helped out.”
Even the youngsters have pitched in. Sam’s Learning Tree day nursery in Rhyl, held a charity sleepover which saw dozens of children including Gary’s son and daughter Aiden and Niamh, sleep at the centre for a fee.
Gemma Wadsworth, nursery supervisor, said: “They stayed over from 6pm to 11am and raised over £500. They loved it and thought it was brilliant. It was the children’s idea to have a sleep over.”
To donate to the Prostate Cancer Charity, visit: www.justgiving.com/garybluebearddaly281. If you can wield the razor on the big day, contact Gary on: 07901770895.