One South Australian school came together on Wednesday 30 June to shave and chop their hair all in the name of a future free from cancer. And what a day it was!
More than 20 year seven students, and eight staff members from Seacliff Primary School took part in the hairy sacrifice across the whole day, raising more than $32,084 for South Australians affected by cancer.
The group of boys, girls and teachers chose to shave their heads or chop off their ponytails in honour of everyone they know affected by cancer, and to support staff member Cathy Stevens whose three-year-old grandson, Charlie, lost his life to cancer earlier this year.
Cancer Council SA Project Manager – Community Fundraising, Emma McKee, attended the event and left feeling so inspired by the school and their community.
“The students were amazing, they were such a welcoming and generous group of kids. They were interested in whether I visit schools like theirs a lot and were really excited to have Cancer Council SA at their event.
“The event ran smooth as anything with students involved in setting up the hall, helping me set up banners, assisting the four hairdressers with sweeping up the cut/shaved hair, greeting friends and family who were attending to watch the kids participate, even ‘security’ was assigned to the entrance to make sure everyone had hand sanitiser.
“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.
“Some kids who originally were going to chop their hair, decided to go for the full shave—with guardian permission of course.
“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 hairdressers were also amazing, 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.
“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.
One student facetimed her sister as she was in hospital undergoing chemo, before she started the big shave. Really reminding us of what the event was all about.
“She sat there with one of her best friends who also did the shave with her. Cheering each other on.
“Both chopping their long ponytails first and then going ahead with the shave. The student’s families were there and lots of tears occurred after, overwhelmed by what had just happened, but also because of how selfless the act they just did was.”
Emma says the effort of all involved is truly amazing.
“At one point one of the participating teachers came up to me, laughed and said I looked mesmerized. And that was exactly how I felt. And that would be the best way to describe it.
“For me, someone who works with people every day who are choosing to fundraise for Cancer Council SA, to see something like this, it was pretty special.
“Of course, every fundraiser is special, unique and important, but to have 10 and 12-year-olds come together, be brave enough to shave or chop their hair—something that we all associate with our own identity—it’s pretty special. And to think that they originally had a target of $5,000, with the secret hope of reaching $10,000, and to just triple it—it’s absolutely amazing.
“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.”
Emma says if anyone is feeling as inspired by the Seacliff Seven’s as she is, they too can sign up and choose to Do It For Cancer.
“The beauty of Do It For Cancer is you can choose to do it your own way. Whatever works for you. And, if you are passionate about what you are doing, you will succeed.
“Head shaves are certainly a popular choice—and in the heart of Winter are a great choice as beanies work a treat—and one that really connects people to the cause.
“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.”
To find out more about Do It For Cancer or to register your own fundraising event, visit https://www.cancersa.org.au/get-involved/fundraising/.
*Header image courtesy of Channel 9 News Adelaide.