WOOLLY coated racing journo Bill Poulos and acutely hirsute bookie Dennis Picone have had a gutful – and they’re calling on NSW racing industry participants and stakeholders to help them to do something about it.
The Moree pair’s “gutful” has nothing to do with racing, but it has a lot to do with raising money for Relay for Life, a 24-hour Cancer Council fundraiser that will be held in their hometown on March 22-23.
Poulos and Picone love a cold beer and a good feed, so a weight-loss challenge in the name of charity was always going to be at double-figure odds – in Picone’s case, anyway.
But a few kilos of the hairy kind might still go by the wayside when they are shaved from neckline to waistline in what has been dubbed “Moree’s Biggest Belly Shave” – and they are calling on NSW racing folk to help their cause.
“Dennis has nothing on top and I’m not far behind him in the barbershop stakes, so shaving our heads for charity was always going to be a waste of time – we don’t use combs, we use a chamois,” Poulos said. The mammoth clip-and-shave contract has been awarded to Ashleigh Taylor and Tina Hobday, professional hairdressers at Simone’s Hair Salon in Moree.
Ashleigh and Tina are well-versed in trimming everything above the ears – not below them – but Picone has extreme faith in the girls’ foray into uncharted territory.
“I’m of Italian blood and Bill’s a half-baked Greek, so I can assure you there is plenty for the girls to work with,” Picone said.
“Relay for Life is a 24-hour show, so hopefully they’ll get the job done before everyone packs up and starts heading home.”
Picone and Poulos are team members of Deluxe Café Moree, a popular mobile coffee business operated by Poulos’s wife, Cindy.
“We need all those people in the racing game to remember all the times that Dennis has given tremendous ‘overs’ with that trademark Picone smile, and all the feel-good stories I’ve written over the years about owners, jockeys, horses and race clubs in the NSW country racing industry,” Poulos said.
“Well, Dennis’s ‘overs’ might be just another good story – so might the ‘smile’ – but seriously, this is a great cause and donations big and small will help the fight against cancer.”
Relay for Life is a community event held overnight, where teams of 10 to 15 members participate in a relay-style walk or run to raise funds for the Cancer Council.
Moree’s Relay will be held at the town’s showground and is expected to draw a huge crowd.
The now-global event, inspired by US colorectal surgeon Gordy Klatt’s 24-hour solo walk in Tacoma, Washington, that raised more than $27,000 in 1985 for his local American Cancer Society office, brings an entire community together for a night of fun, entertainment, celebration and remembrance.
The Deluxe Café will also be on-site, operating for the 24-hour duration.
“As part of our team fundraising, we will also donate all proceeds from bottled water sales and 50 cents from each cup of coffee sold,” Mrs Poulos said.
Online donations can be made by visiting http://relay.cancercouncil.com.au/2013/moree_2013 and clicking “donate” next to Deluxe Café Moree.