Doing the chop for charity

Good cause. . . Gore woman Amber Peterson and her son Jaikaia have had their heads shaved to raise money for Ronald McDonald House. PHOTO: ANG SIMPSON

A family that benefited from Ronald McDonald House in their time of need has paid the favour forward.

Gore woman Amber Peterson and her son Jaikaia had their heads shaved on Friday to raise money for Ronald McDonald House.

So far they have raised about $2000.

Friday was the seventh anniversary of her 2-year-old nephew Rylan’s death from a brain tumour, Ms Peterson said.

Being able to stay at Ronald McDonald House during Rylan’s treatment had been a big help for the family and the pair wanted to give back to the charity.

‘‘What they provided for him before he passed away was incredible.’’

Jaikaia and his cousin were seven months apart and were ‘‘quite close’’.

Five years ago Jaikaia started growing a mullet.

It was discussed at the time if he could take care of his hair and grow it to a good length, he could get it cut off to raise money for the charity, she said.

He had done that and now with the mullet about 50cm long, the day had come for it to be cut off.

Ms Peterson decided Jaikaia would learn an even more valuable lesson about how important it was to be ‘‘selfless’’ if she had her hair cut off too.

Country Glow hairdresser Kodie Blythe donated her time to cut the pair’s hair.

Jaikaia said he was happy with his new haircut.

‘‘I think it’s way better than the one I had before. I know [the mullet] has been a part of me for years but it started to get annoying.’’

His friends at Te Tipua School had raised $146 for the cause.

Ronald McDonald House charities community adviser Ang Simpson said she was impressed with the pair for raising ‘‘money to help future families who are going to face tough times’’.

Close shave. . . Te Tipua School pupil Jaikaia Peterson has his hair shaved by Country Glow hairdresser Kodie Blythe while his mother Amber holds his mullet which has just been cut off. PHOTO: ANG SIMPSON