Trackside presenter loses his hair for kids

10:35 AM 04 Apr 2011 NZST
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Greg O'Connor The new look
Greg O'Connor - getting the big chop.
Colin Berry photo Race Images
The new look - Greg O'Connor.
Colin Berry photo Race Images

Canterbury based Trackside Presenter Greg O'Connor came away from the Banks Peninsula Racing Club's meeting held yesterday (Sunday) sporting a brand new haircut for the up-coming Interdom Finals. The popular harness racing front-man got himself involved in a head shaving venture organised by North Canterbury jockey Jamie Bates.

O'Connor and a number of other well known thoroughbred identities also losing their cherished locks of hair in order to raise funds for Cure Kids.

"Cure Kids is basically a foundation designed to help research and find a cure for kids with life-threatening illnesses," said Jamie Bates. "I saw the adds on TV and I thought, I'd like to do something to help out. I've got two boys of my own and this sort of thing really hits home for parents," he said.

While Bates had no shortage of willing participants, it was Trackside Presenter Greg O'Connor who delivered the most public interest, many of his fellow workmates keen to see the man with the golden hair lose that wavy top coat in order to reveal a somewhat more traditional grey-flecked scalp.

Commentator Mark McNamara was the first to pledge one hundred dollars cold hard cash. "It was for a very good cause and $100 was a cheap investment to see Grego ridiculed.

To his credit he followed through and never flinched under the pressure," McNamara said. Before long word quickly spread throughout the Trackside Team, a total of $1400 raised by O'Connor's act of kindness alone. "Once the money started coming in I couldn't turn down the opportunity, it will go to a very worthwhile cause and what's even better was that we got Mark Mac to part with a hundy, and I can tell you that's not an easy thing to do," mused O'Connor.

With a grand-total still yet to be calculated Jamie Bates must be congratulated for his promotional skills and effort in raising awareness for Cure Kids. On-Course generosity was outstanding with many members of the public digging deep. "We had wonderful support and have raised close to $3000 so far, people were very generous on-course and were quick to donate," he said.

Steve DOLAN

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