Two Tauranga firefighters who have sported impressive moustaches for more than two decades are prepared to sport naked upper lips to raise money for Child Cancer charity CanTeen.
Bay of Plenty Coast senior fire risk management officer Ken McKeagg, who is based at Tauranga Fire Station, is so attached to his 43-year-old handlebar moustache that clippers won't go near him until fundraising hits $1000.
His colleague, station officer Nigel Liddicoat, has shaved his moustache off once since he was 18 years old. Unhappy with that look, he promptly grew it back.
Mount Maunganui firefighter Bruce Martin-Hendrie will also lose his moustache for the cause.
The firefighters will be joined by Western Bay police officers and Tauranga MP Simon Bridges for the Wax Wars for a Good Cause event in Mount Maunganui next Saturday. The men with also have their legs waxed by beauty therapists. And at least one firefighter will lose his chest hair for charity. All money raised will be donated to CanTeen Bay of Plenty, which supports more than 100 cancer patients and their siblings, aged between 13 and 24.
CanTeen Bay of Plenty member support manager Rebecca Scott expects the event to raise at least $5000, which will be used to increase hospital and home support for CanTeen families.
That support could come in the form of everything from transport costs to "boredom-busters" like hand-held games, mobile phones, and regular top-ups so patients coulde keep in contact with friends and family.
Some of the money raised might also go towards palliative grants of up to $1000, to fulfill a wish for patients who have exhausted their cancer treatment options.
Tauranga Fire Station alone has already raised more than $400 for Wax Wars through donations on its fundraising web page. The public can add to those funds by visiting www.fundraiseonline.co.nz and searching for Tauranga Firemen.
Donations can also be made during the event, which will be held on October 23 at Bayfair Shopping Centre (outside Farmers) between 2 and 4pm.
CanTeen's National Bandanna Campaign runs until the end of this month.