The Yachtsman 2017-2018 RPAYC Yachtsman 2016-2017 - Page 89

O P E R AT I O N B E A R D O F F F O R I D S T he Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s Sailing Coach, Tom Spithill has shaved off his red beard to raise over $11,000 for the Club’s Integrated disAbled Sailing program with all proceeds going to Australia’s Solider On organisation. has just been going above and beyond for us and we can’t thank him enough” said Nathan Vardanega. Picture Credit: Adventures of a Sailor Girl A crowd of around 300 gathered at the Club to witness the promised spectacle. Initial hopes for Operation Beard Off had been to raise around $2,000, however fundraising efforts quickly escalated to $7,175 prior to the day of the shave. On the day, as Tom took the throne, the donations came through thick and fast and at one point an auction was held to snip the beard plait which went to John Lane Smith for $150. Food and Beverage Supervisor Sturt Royle donned the shearer’s singlet for the shave and got to work, closely followed by Tom’s girlfriend Rachel, Nathan Vardanega, Reintegration Officer for Solider On, then followed with long-time critic, his mum Jenny Spithill, also having a turn. 300 GATHERED TO WITNESS THE SPECTACLE Once the beard was off, an anonymous bid of $1,000 was offered on the condition that it was matched by a further $1,000 in donations and that Tom would lose the hair on his head as well. Being the good sport that he is he agreed to. Well, as you can imagine, members rallied around and over a $1,000 came in and off it came. The grand total raised was $11,900. A fantastic effort by all! Solider On provides support to our ex-service men and women to help reintegrate them back into society and on a road to recovery from the mental and physical wounds received as part of their service. Sailing Coach Tom Spithill, along with the help from Club members, has taken charge of the program which has seen some very positive results and to give a little extra to a great partnership he decided to shave off his beard for a great cause. “I’ve been taking these guys out sailing on the Club’s and members’ boats for the past year or so and they love the water and a challenge. To add a little extra to the cause I was more than happy to shave my beard,” said Tom Spithill. “I was so stoked to raise this much money. A huge round of applause to all those who donated and to the Club and the members who have supported this partnership with Soldier On since it started,” said Tom. Nathan Vardanega, Reintegration Officer for Solider On who started the proceedings had nothing but gratitude to Tom and the Club for their work with Solider On. “It’s been great here at the Club, they have been so welcoming and supportive of Soldier On and Tommy (Tom Spithill) YAC H T SMA N 87