Hospice Whanganui has joined the winning buzz of successful Melbourne Cup punters.
The organisation hosted 122 keen punters on Tuesday at Whanganui Greyhound Racing Club where, after watching the Melbourne Cup, they were able to bet on a special greyhound racing event on the local track, raising $6982 for Hospice.
Hospice Whanganui operations manager Sandy McDougall said the night was a great success and everyone involved had lots of fun.
"They intermingled and it was really good to see a lot of networking going on and people catching up," McDougall said.
Tickets for the event were $40, with $20 banked directly to Hospice and the other $20 going into a pool of money that was then distributed evenly to each table as betting money.
If punters won more $20 from their bets every four races, they had to bank this money to Hospice. If they won less than $20 and wanted to bet again, they had to do so with their own money.
"We gave them money, we weren't expecting to get anything back - if we got something back that was great," McDougall said.
The truest form of participation came from the club's bar and event manager Ivan Howe who let punters shave off sections of his hair throughout the evening.
Whichever table had won the most from their bets after four races got to pick a table member to shave a section of Howe's hair.
River City Insurance Brokers won two lots of four races and nominated Kenny Flintoff to play hairdresser.
One punter handed Howe $100 in sympathy money for him to donate to Hospice for doing a good deed.
Carla McKinnon, owner of House of Travel Whanganui, did the honours of shaving the last section of hair on Howe's head.
McKinnon has now been inspired to shave her own head for Hospice if they are able to raise $25,000.
Howe said the event was a huge success but his head felt a bit different; however, warmer temperatures this week meant he did not feel the chill as much.
McDougall said they were also grateful to Greyhound New Zealand who donated a race box number; if the dog with that box number won, they donated $200 to Hospice.
With three wins from the 12 races, Hospice collected a further $600.
"Greyhound New Zealand Racing talks about how they give back to the community and they really actually do."
Hospice also had the expertise of Jolt Cafe owner Mark Dyhrberg who bet on its behalf and managed to win $1192.
McDougall said she hoped it would become an annual event.
She thanked sponsors Craig Investments Partners, Dublin Automotive, Team Harcourts Whanganui, House of Travel Wanganui, KiwiSpan, New World Wanganui, Nu-Look Wanganui, PALAmountains, Piping Hot Plumbing, Q-West Boat Builders and Wanganui Insurance Brokers who each put up race sponsorship of $250.