By Austin Gatcomb, Staff Reporter
Recently, The UMF rugby team held their annual hair auction fundraiser, setting a record for most money raised at the event, in addition to most money raised on one haircut.
“We got straight up 312 dollars total; so that’s a record, the old record was like 220,” said Jake Murphy, third year rugby player and the auctioneer for the evening. Murphy volunteered to be the auctioneer for the evening and was incredibly proud that he was able to get the most money the team has made so far at the auction.
“I’m a salesman already,” Murphy said grinning ear to ear, “I sell appliances.” Murphy plans on being the auctioneer for next year as well.
Gregory Smaligo earned the Rugby team 66 dollars when his hair was auctioned off, easily breaking the original record that was approximately 45 dollars. “As a rookie it’s pretty awesome,” said Smaligo, “it makes me feel welcome on the team.”
Smaligo’s haircut included sideburn tufts, a race stripes beard, a rat tail, and a tuft of hair at the top of his head. “I’ll absolutely do it again,” said Smaligo. “That’s a huge night for the club for fundraisers.”
The hair auction itself is completely voluntary, though players are encouraged to participate at least once during their career. The starting bid for the auction was ten dollars. After the initial bid had been made, the crowd that had gathered at the auction, around 25 people, would then up the price anywhere from one to five dollars. The winners of the auction then got to cut their player’s hair however they wanted to. If the player desired, he could also choose to auction off his beard, as well as his eyebrows and even, chest hair. The players had to keep their new haircuts through the Beast of the East tournament last weekend.
Derek Beaudet, alumni from the Rugby team from 2010 and assistant coach, originally attended the event to watch the hair auction, but ended up winning the last haircut of the night.
“They needed another pair of hair clippers,” said Beaudet, “so they asked me to run home and get mine.” On his way home, Beaudet imagined the hair the last player had and what he would do with it. “I wanted to do a bullseye on his head,” said Beaudet, “but someone did something similar to it.” Beaudet spent 60 dollars to give the last player a haircut.
All proceeds received from the hair auction went directly to the Rugby team. The money will be used to get new equipment, new uniforms, and help the team get to tournaments. Once every five years, the team takes a trip to England to participate in a tournament as well. “That’s in the books in the next year or two,” said Beaudet, “I’m sure some of this money is going into the coffers for that over trip in the future.”