Shaving your head for charity has become almost as commonplace as doing the Ice Bucket Challenge, but for one Hucknall woman it became a very emotional event.
Tiny Tots Pre-school worker, Tina Marshall, took to the hot seat in the High Street’s H2O bar on Sunday night after anticipating the event for several weeks for the Battle Batten campaign.
Freddie and Louie Dawkins, who suffer from the neurodegenerative disease, attended the playgroup when they were younger and have held a place in Tina’s heart ever since.
“I went along to a fundraiser at the H20 a few months ago and people signed up to do sponsored runs, bike rides and various other events,” explained Tina of Addison Drive. “But I’m not much of a runner or a cyclist but I wanted to do something significant to help.”
According to Tina and her friends, her hair has always been her trademark so it was with trepidation that she decided to go for a headshave and on Bank Holiday Sunday, in front of a crowd of supporters, she fulfilled her promise.
“It was a very emotional night,” said Tina. “Loads of friends and family were there to support me thanks to my friend Julie Darrington who had put constant updates on Facebook leading up to the big day.
“My usual hairdresser, Jane from Avanti Hair, did the shaving as I looked at a picture of the boys as my motivation.”
As well as pledges of sponsorship and people handing her money in the street, there were also collection tins on the night.
“I just can’t believe how generous people have been,” she added. “Folk I don’t know heard about what I was doing and just gave me money.
“I visited the British Legion, Liberal Club and Hucknall’s pubs and the positive reaction from everyone has been amazing.”
Tina said she wouldn’t lose her hair for anything less than £1,000, which seemed a high target, but she exceeded all expectations.
“After collecting £500 on the night of the shave I have managed to raise £2,300 which is unbelievable - I have more than doubled what I hoped for.”
Other fundraising events for the campaign have included a coffee morning event at Watnall Road Baptist Church organised by Jackie Archer which collected £206 and an Afternoon Tea event organised by Cherry English at St John’s Church held recently, boosted funds further with £310.
And the Rat Pack event held at Newstead Abbey on Sunday also supported the cause with a percentage of tickets sold by the Dawkins family going towards the fund and a raffle held on the night creating more cash.
A football match held last month in memory of Hucknall’s Craig Dowhan was a scoring success although an emotional day for all those involved.
Craig was killed in a car accident but his family wanted to hold a special day to enable his friends to mark his life and decided to give the money raised to Freddie and Louie.
The day raised £1,352.66 and has since received a match donation from Santander bank.
“My longstanding friend, Shirley Gray, works for the bank and she was involved in the day and applied to have whatever we raised matched,” said Craig’s mum Diane Dowhan. “We are very pleased with how much we have managed to raise through the young people and supporters on the day and grateful to Santander for agreeing to double it.”
Parents of Freddie and Louie, Sarah and Andrew, continue to be amazed by the community’s support and generosity.
“We want to thank everyone for their continued support of the campaign as every penny counts,” said Sarah. “We are very touched and humbled by the Dowhan family huge contribution at what is a very difficult time for them following the death of their son.
“And we thank Tina and her supporters for their efforts for our boys - it was a very brave challenge for a woman especially.”
All the money raised from the campaign will go towards setting up a research programme in conjunction with the BDFA (Batten Disease Family Association)specifically for the strain of the disease the boys have.
The target is £50,000 and currently stands at £29,338.32.
To donate visit: justgiving.com/andrewdawkins.