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Harlow comedian has head shaved for dear friend Paul Bonello

Charity / Wed 12th Oct 2016 at 03:36pm

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Gary Shaw 2By Gary Shaw

THE event was last Saturday October 1st, as a fundraiser for the British Heart Foundation, in memory of a dear friend Paul “Bellsy” Bonello, who sadly passed away back in April. Paul was returning from holiday, when he was taken seriously ill on the plane due to Deep Vein Thrombosis. He was moved to a hospital on landing and then died shortly after.

He was a huge music fan and regular concert goer at the Square, so was well known and loved by all the staff there. A mutual friend of his and mine, Gary Rugless, originally from Harlow but now resident in Norfolk, thought that it would be a fitting celebration of Paul’s life if an event was organised at the Square, with live music and DJs. He also decided that it should be a fundraiser for the British Heart Foundation and asked for a volunteer to do something a little different at the show. As much as I’m proud of having a full head of hair at my age (51), I thought it’s time for a change of style and decided that getting it shaved at the event would kill two birds with one stone: get my hair cut and fulfil a long ambition of performing in the main room of the Square (I’d previously done a standup set at the old open mic night in the downstairs bar).

I managed to raise £665 via (mostly) online donations on a JustGiving.com page and a further £550 was raised by tickets sales on the night. The Square very kindly only took payment for that evening’s staff from the ticket money and gave the rest to the cause. The BHF gave a couple of buckets for on the night donations, which were collected by Paul’s daughter Katie and her mum Bernadette, this raised a further £300.

The evening’s other entertainment were local band ‘Depravity’ and Norfolk band ‘Ned Kelly’s Ambush’. Before, during and after the bands, was music played by local DJs: Ash Tyrrell, Baz Dedhevan and Pete Doff.

All in all, a great night, enjoyed by everyone. A great fundraiser for the British Heart Foundation and a fitting memorial to one of Harlow’s greatest music fans and supporter of live music. Many thanks to everyone at the Square, for once again showing why they are such an essential part of our town.

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