Who chopped their locks for the Greatest Shave?
THREE brave locals came face-to-face with the clippers on the weekend, and did so for a noble cause.
Lynda Ward, Ashley Barnes and Brad Lines all participated in the World's Greatest Shave, the annual nation-wide fund raiser for Leukaemia Foundation.
British expat Lynda did her shave at the RSL on Saturday, and told the Western Times it was her own daughters who inspired her to take on the
"I had already decided after growing my hair long, and that I was going to get it cut short; then, I thought I may as well get it cut for a cause,” she said.
"I have two daughters in the UK, one who always runs the half-marathon for the newborn baby unit in Nottingham, and another who is a hairdresser who has cut kids' long hair - including my granddaughter's - to make wigs for people who need them.
"She has done sober January and other fund raising for cancer as well, so I was definitely inspired by my girls.”
At home in Charleville, the community has quietly rallied behind Lynda, and helped her raise more than $900 for the Leukaemia Foundation.
"I counted the money on Tuesday, and went to the bank with $889.40,” she said.
"Then I had a late donation come in and it has gone up to $929.40.
"I went up to the Welcome to Charleville just over a week ago and collected more than $300 there, and then thanks to different businesses including the bowls club, the Cattle Camp, the RSL, Healthy Ageing, Judey's Browse Inn, Beaus Hairdressers, who all had donation tins and it is where the rest came from.”
Being the youngest shaver in town, it was fitting that Ashley Barnes tackled his fifth shave in a truly millennial way, live-streaming the occasion for the world to see.
Friends and family members from far and wide were able to tune in and donate, but Ashley said it wasn't the only thing that made the event special.
"I have been participating in the World's Greatest Shave for five years now, and it all started when I lost my stepfather, Pete, to cancer.,” he said.
"He has such a beautiful soul and no matter what brought him down, he always had a positive outlook on life.
"When Pete passed away, I wanted to continue that, and continue his legacy, because this man helped me through some tough times.”
For Ashley, the fundraising effort has been growing with each year, along with his stepdad's legacy.
"It started off small, by putting wash-out dye in my hair and asking teaches at school if they wanted to make a donation to the cause,” he said.
"Then, it slowly moved to dyeing my hair bright colours, and asking companies to make a donation before I shaved it off.
"This year I did it differently by live streaming myself for the shave, while also playing a video game about someone dealing with cancer.
"As I was washing off my hair, I was reminded of all the good times with Pete, and of why I do this every year,.”
In a truly happy ending to the day, Ashley said he exceeded his fundraising goal.
"I was over the moon when I found out I had made $400,” he said.
"The goal was $350 and I ended up getting another donation after the shave.
"Next year, I'm hoping to do it again and raise even more money for the Leukaemia Foundation.”
Nationwide, the World's Greatest Shave has raised almost $12 million to beat blood cancer.