Bernie Allen has a ‘pet’ project he’s been working on as he looks to raise funds for the SPCA.
The Bethlehem Te Puna Lions member helps to run the market twice a month at Tauranga’s Historic Village, and is planning to have his beard shaved off at the next one on Sunday, December 2.
“We did it on the spur of the moment last year, and raised $71,” says Bernie. “This year we have $30 donation up front at the start, and we’re hoping that the SPCA will bring along a dog on Sunday.”
Alongside other Lions members, Bernie has been running the market for the last eight years. Arriving at around 4.30am on the first and third Sunday of every month, he sets up the market with assistance from fellow Lions club member Marilyn McCrae.
The market, which used to be held in Bethlehem town centre, relocated three years ago.
“Last year I grew the ‘mo’ for Movember and Marilyn cut it off,” says Bernie. “She said she’d do the same this year. She pretended last time to cut it off with hedge clippers, and put chilli sauce on me to make it look like blood. This year it’s food colouring!”
He decided to have the beard shaved off at the first market in December.
“It’s solely for the SPCA,” he says.
Bernie and his beard will be near the Village Radio barbecue outside the Whipped Baker Café, at about 10.15am on Sunday.