More than 20 year seven students and eight staff members from Seacliff Primary School made the hairy sacrifice, to shave their hair and chop off their ponytails while raising over $30,000 for Cancer Council, in honour of everyone they know impacted by cancer.
Raising money and awareness for cancer is really close to home for the school community at Seacliff Primary School with some staff and students having been touched personally by cancer. Staff member Cathy Stevens lost her three-year-old grandson Charlie to cancer last year and one student also had a sister in hospital undergoing chemo when she made the decision to shave her head.
The students set up their school hall ready for the big event. They helped to set up Cancer Council SA banners, assisted the four hairdressers with sweeping up hair, and greeted friends and family who were attending to watch the kids participate. ‘Security’ was also assigned to the entrance to make sure everyone had hand sanitiser.
Cancer Council SA Project Manager – Community Fundraising, Emma McKee, attended the event and left feeling so inspired by the school and their community.
“At first there was a lot of nervous energy. The students were excited, but also a bit wary of how the morning would go and how they would feel when their name came up in the schedule. Once everyone was in the hall, adrenalin kicked in,” Emma said.
Some kids who originally were going to chop their hair, ended up asking their parents and guardians for permission to go for the full shave. The hairdressers were cutting hair in funky styles before doing the full shave—one boy had a bowl cut and then proceeded to have the clippers go straight down the middle of his hair.
There was a real sense of comradery, not only amongst the group that participated, but the entire school. Everyone was there to cheer them on and congratulate them.
“The looks on the students faces when they first touched their freshly-shaven head or saw their new ‘do’ in the mirror was just priceless,” Emma said.
“Of course, every fundraiser is special, unique and important, but to have 10 and 12-year-olds come together and be brave enough to shave or chop their hair—something that we all associate with our own identity—it’s pretty special.
“I think it really reigns home, that if you set your mind to do something, you can achieve it. These kids are the real heroes—they are everyday people, doing extraordinary things.
“Most people who go through cancer treatment will lose their hair, so making the hairy sacrifice to lop yours off by choice, that’s pretty special.”
Shaving your head is a powerful way to raise awareness. But if you’re not ready to go the whole way, you can also get a new ‘do’, dye your hair, wax your legs or chop off your ponytail. Whatever you decide, it’s a courageous act that really connects people to the cause.
To find out more about how you can make the hairy sacrifice and Do It For Cancer, like the students and teachers at Seacliff Primary School, visit www.cancersa.org.au/get-involved/fundraising.