Phoenix Graham and his sister Sapphire used to be mistaken for twins but that might not be the case now that Phoenix has shaved his head for Camp Quality. PHOTOS/CHELSEA BOYLE
The energy in the Carterton School hall was contagious as Phoenix Graham had his head shaved to raise money for Camp Quality New Zealand.
Phoenix was “inspired” by his grandfather Paul Shailer who is the regional manager for Camp Quality.
Camp Quality runs week-long summer camps for children aged five to 16 living with cancer in five regions throughout the country.
Camp Quality helps about 300 children every year.
Phoenix started fundraising just over a month ago with the goal of reaching $700.
But the youngster has smashed that target and raised more than $2300.
Mr Shailer was on hand early Monday morning to talk to the Carterton School pupils about what Camp Quality does.
It was about making sure the children attending the camps could just be kids, Mr Shailer said.
It costs about $2000 to send one child to camp.
“Phoenix has raised enough money to get one kid to camp which is really brilliant.”
They would leave the fundraising page open until the end of the month in case anyone still wanted to add donations.
Mr Shailer said he was proud of Phoenix and his efforts.
Inspiration was spreading throughout the school hall like wildfire.
Teacher Kirsty Hull told the assembly she was going to volunteer as a dorm parent at camp this summer.
Carterton School Deputy Principal Wendy Taylor told the pupils she was keen to cut her ponytail next year so that it could be made into a wig just like Phoenix’s long locks.
Phoenix had his hair cut into four ponytails, so the hair could be made into a wig.
His mother Marie Shailer and father Nathan Graham chopped off the first two.
Ms Hull and Mr Shailer had the honour of cutting off the last two ponytails.
When there was no longer a single strand on top of his head the school burst into a haka for Phoenix.
The children all started dancing to music at the end of the assembly.