A weekly round-up of news snippets, events and oddities from the Bay of Islands and around the Mid North

A group of Kawakawa police officers, bolstered by the odd St John medic, nurses and a dial-a-driver, has raised more than $3000 for charity by running a half marathon in pink tutus.

The officers ran the Kerikeri Half Marathon for the Bald Angels Trust, which has a variety of projects benefiting Far North children.

Trust founder Therese Wickbom said the proceeds were still being tallied but would top $3000. The money came from the runners' fundraising efforts and a sweet and cupcake stall at the street party later that evening.

Mrs Wickbom said the officers' efforts showed how much they cared about the community.

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"What blew me away is that they spend their days helping keep the streets safe, then in their own time they found sponsorship, got dressed up and ran a half marathon, which some of them had never done before," she said.

"It's heart warming to know our community is full of good people. Our police in particular are often taken for granted, and they're the ones working at the coalface with the children we're trying to help."


Mass shave #2

Instead of taking a rest after their marathon efforts, the Bald Angels are now planning a mass head-shave next Easter - similar to, but even bigger than, their last in November 2012 when 62 Northlanders lopped off their locks and raised more than $47,000. The money went to children in the care of Hospice Mid Northland.

Trust founder Therese Wickbom urged anyone thinking about getting a hair cut to wait until Easter and join the fundraiser.

The Trust was also looking for people to get involved in its Kerikeri community garden. For more information email wickbom@xtra.co.nz or check out the Facebook page, BaldAngelsKerikeri.


Recycle and earn

Community organisations, clubs and sports groups will once again have a chance to raise funds this Waitangi Day by being recycling ambassadors.

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EcoSolutions is looking for organisations to man recycling stations, each of which consists of three wheelie bins - for food scraps, recyclables and rubbish.

Every station manned from 10am-5pm will earn $80, making $1200 for all 15. Training provided; recycling ambassadors are not required to sort through rubbish. Email ecosolutions@cbec.co.nz or call (09) 438 8710 for more information.


No whipping

Paihia is holding its famous Christmas Parade this Friday. Village Green fun, including a bouncy castle, starts at 4pm, with the parade due to start at 5.30pm. Every child that dresses up gets a prize.

Last year's winner was a life-size Peter Pan pirate galleon and, as if that wasn't enough, it was towing a life-size castle.

A few years before that the town was abuzz with outraged rumour that one of the town's famously extravagant floats would feature nudity and whipping. Sadly the rumours proved unfounded.

See www.paihianz.co.nz or call (09) 402-5593 to enter a float.


Igloo ingenuity

While we're on the topic of Christmas parades, Kaikohe's parade last Friday earnt full points for creative recycling. Among the standouts efforts were a snowman made from stacked-up tyres painted white, milk-bottle penguins, and a life-size igloo also made from empty plastic milk bottles.


Musical picnic

Kerikeri School of Music is holding a free concert and musical picnic to celebrate its tenth birthday from 1-3pm this Saturday. All welcome; finger food, tea and coffee provided, BYO picnic rug. The school is at 128 Kerikeri Rd, just before the Bypass.


Garden safari record

Last month's 27th Kerikeri Garden Safari raised a record sum of more than $30,000 - and now Kerikeri Rotary Club is calling for suggestions about how it should spend the money.

The club uses the money from the safari and other fund-raisers to support youth and community development projects in the Mid North and internationally.

This year club president Bruce Mathieson wants townsfolk to help identify worthwhile local projects. Ideas can be submitted via the club's website (www.kerikerirotaryclub.org) by clicking on the 'Suggest' tab in the Get Involved section.

About 800 people visited the 17 gardens in this year's trail, ranging from small urban sections to large blocks. Organiser Kathryn Trewin said the task of finding new gardens each year was a challenge, but the standard and variety of gardens in the area gave the club plenty of choice.

Funds raised by last year's event went towards the club's Dictionaries in Schools project, Mid North youth leadership training initiatives, as well as community development, healthcare and welfare projects.


Lego Gran wins

As part of the lead-up to Kerikeri's Garden Safari, staff at 66 businesses made publicity scarecrows for display around town. The public was able to vote for their favourite at New World; 573 votes were cast, with the $100 winner of the best scarecrow title going to Lego Gran from Kerikeri Retirement Village.


Art show

Paintings and clay works by members of the Cherry Park House Painting and Pottery Groups will be on show at Kerikeri's Masonic Hall (down the alley opposite the fire station) all this weekend. The hours will be noon to 4.30pm on Friday and 9.30am-4.30pm on Saturday and Sunday. Free entry.


Do you have news or an upcoming event you'd like to see in this column? Send it to us, including your full contact details, to baynews@northernadvocate.co.nz