Pupils’ close shave for cancer charity

Before . . . Blue Mountain College pupils Kade Pahau-Workman, 12, Katelyn Dennehy, 13, Merryn Helby, 12 and Callum Stuart, 12 prepare to say goodbye to their locks last Wednesday in Tapanui. PHOTO: EVELYN THORN

Four Tapanui pupils said goodbye to their locks and hello to new beginnings last week.

Blue Mountain College pupils Kade Pahau-Workman, Katelyn Dennehy, Merryn Helby and Callum Stuart made the decision to have their heads shaved last Wednesday.

The four pupils shaved to assist in raising money for the Child Cancer Foundation as part of Wig Wednesday.

Teacher and organiser Sarah Davies said she was proud of the youngsters for taking the leap.

‘‘Two of these kids have actually shaved their heads before.

‘‘It’s really inspiring for them to take leadership and understand why they’re doing it, and even further to see that they want to do it more than once.

‘‘It’s an amazing cause and they’re doing awesome.’’

Mrs Davies’ son Jock, who attended the college, was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2013 and relapsed in 2018, but is now a ‘‘thriving nearly 20 year old’’.

Her son’s diagnosis gave her the passion to raise money every year.

‘‘I’ve pretty much organised raising money ever since.

‘‘For girls it can be a bit tougher because they’re giving up a lot.

‘‘But hair is important, and it’s very amazing to see their courage in shaving their heads.’’

The pupils said they knew someone, one way or another, who had dealt with cancer.

Merryn said she ‘‘knows how draining it could be to have cancer and I want to help inany way I can’’.

Kade said it was a ‘‘good way to fundraise for people who go through tough times’’.

First-timer Katelyn said she was ‘‘nervous’’ to have her hair cut off at first but now enjoyed the feel of her head.

Callum said he did not tell his parents he was doing it again — he just texted them and said ‘‘they’ll figure it out when I get home’’.

The school raised $376 from gold coin donations for the cause.

After . . . Blue Mountain College teacher Sarah Davies stands proud with the pupils after their shave. PHOTO: EVELYN THORN