Hutt Rotarian sacrifices dreadlocks for Ethiopia aid mission – The Dominion Post

Rotary Club of Hutt City aid project for Ethiopia.  Cameron and Chris Tooley paid for the privilege of taking first snips at the dreadlocks of club president Ganesh Cherian.

Simon Edwards

Rotary Club of Hutt City aid project for Ethiopia. Cameron and Chris Tooley paid for the privilege of taking first snips at the dreadlocks of club president Ganesh Cherian.

With his dreadlocked hair, Ganesh Cherian was a fine advertisement for Rotary’s drive for more diversity among its white, middle-aged-to-elderly ranks.

A sheep shearing blade put paid to those looks last Wednesday but the fundraising event at the Dowse underlined another aspect of Rotary – how strong the movement is at supporting a good cause.

The Rotary Club of Hutt City and Rotary District 9940 are sponsoring a trip by Deb Mair and Wellington Phoenix Youth player Nati Hailemariam to Ethiopia.  They leave on August 23 and will spend six weeks liaising with representatives from Save the Children, World Vision, Unicef, the United Nations Development Programme and a Rotary club in Addis Ababa as they research what would be the best form for a New Zealand-led aid project there.

Last week’s cocktail party at the Lower Hutt art museum raised about $4000 in cash,  with a further $1500 in barter card dollars pledged from local business owners, Mair said.

After singing and strumming on guitar a version of Last Train, Rotary Club of Hutt City president Cherian submitted to the scissors as attendees put in bids for the right to snip at his dreadlocks.  Then a shearing blade weilded by Brian Ross was fired up after a $200 pledge was offered if Cherian lost the lot.

Running a hand over his bald head a few minutes later, Cherian said “I’ve gone from rasta to skinhead in 60 seconds”.

More money was raised by the auction of a signed Phoenix shirt and boosts signed by Alex Rodrigeuz.

Mair is delighted that the Phoenix has gifted about $2000 worth of used players’ football boots and training shoes that they will take to football-mad Ethiopia, where Hailemariam intends running coaching sessions as an ice-breaker with the locals.

Even more importantly, thanks to co-ordination by district health board allied health, scientific and technical executive director Russell Simpson, six boxes of medical and surgical equipment from the region’s three DHBs, have been collected. Jock Freight International of Tauranga have agreed to get this gear over to Ethiopia at a 50/50 Bartercard and cash payment option.

Others will to assist the aid project in Ethiopia can donate at  https://givealittle.co.nz/profile/charity/ethiopia2015


 – Hutt News

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