Beaudesert Santa going bald for a cause

SANTA: Mr Reinke is a town Beaudesert icon, especially at Christmas time.
SANTA: Mr Reinke is a town Beaudesert icon, especially at Christmas time.

WHEN Beaudesert’s own Santa Claus Keith Reinke heard that 11-year-old schoolboy Sebastian Smith was preparing to go bald for the sixth year in a row he couldn’t help but offer his support.

On Friday afternoon both Sebastian and Santa will have their heads shaved bald at Indulge Hair and Beauty at Beaudesert to raise funds for the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave.

Mr Reinke said he was going one step further and would have his beard and eyebrows shaved as well.

“I think it will all grow back in time for Christmas,” he said.

“I have until November anyway.”

Mr Reinke has been well known around Beaudesert for his fundraising efforts on behalf of Rotary and could often be seen selling raffle tickets outside Woolworths or Aldi.

Former Scenic Rim councillor John Mann who frequently accompanied Mr Reinke on fundraising expeditions said the Rotary donation tin displayed at Mr Reinke’s stalls would go towards his Leukaemia Foundation funds for the next two weeks.

“All the kids give Keith a high-five when they see him and local businesses often give him gifts to give to the children coming to do the shopping with their parents,” Mr Mann said.

“He is joining the fundraiser a bit late because although Keith has shaved for a cure in previous years we didn’t even know it was on until we met Sebastian.

“We were outside Woolworths and we saw a little boy and his mum had a stall on the opposite side, so we went over and had a chat.”

Mr Mann said the group had agreed that having Santa and Sebastian going bald together would help get people’s attention and hopefully raise more funds for the cause.

Keith Reinke and Sebastian Smith have joined forces for World's Greatest Shave.

Keith Reinke and Sebastian Smith have joined forces for World's Greatest Shave.

Sebastian’s mother Veronica Smith said her son was no stranger to the annual fundraiser.

“In previous years he has raised over $5000 for the cause,” she said.

“His goal this year was $1500 and so far he has reached $1105.

“His school, Jimboomba State School held a free dress day to help raise funds and he has approached friends and family for donations as well as collecting donations from the community at Woolworths Beaudesert.

Ms Smith said their family had been affected by cancer a few times and that was why Sebastian was so passionate about the cause.

“Sebastian’s great uncle, Erik passed away from cancer 11 years ago and he had participated in raising money for the Children’s Oncology Ward in Sydney in 1996 for the event called ‘Crop a Cop’,” she said. 

Cancer claimed Sebastian's uncle Erik, who took part in the fundraiser in 1996.

Cancer claimed Sebastian's uncle Erik, who took part in the fundraiser in 1996.

“Now this horrible disease is affecting our family again with Sebastian’s grandpa fighting cancer.

“As his mother I am so proud that he is willing to give up his time to help raise awareness and much needed funds for the Leukaemia Foundation.”