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Students hair to help

Back, left to right: Milly Fletcher, Child Cancer Foundation business development manager, Tony Fitzgerald, Flo Partridge,front: teacher Blake Walker. PHOTOS/ELI HILL

Eli Hill

There were tears and cheers at Greytown School on Thursday as two pupils and a teacher had their heads shaved.

Pupils Flo Partridge, Milly Fletcher, and teacher Blake Walker collectively raised $6000 for the Child Cancer Foundation.

The haircuts took place during an end of term assembly at the school with hundreds of pupils watching and cheering for their fellow pupils and teacher.

After the haircut, a stoic Flo, 8, said her hair ‘feels like velvet’.

The pupil had managed to raise $2700 on a online fundraiser page.

“I didn’t think we’d get that much. Our first go was $1500 and then we got to that so we made it $3000.”

Milly Fletcher having her head shaved.

Milly, 12, said she felt “pretty good”, although her hair was a lot lighter.

“My goal was to raise $750, so I smashed that. I had lots of family, friends, and teachers donate.”

“I first heard about Flo doing it, so I thought it’d be a great thing to do and I like to do my bit to help out.”

Principal Patrice O’Connor said it was awesome – “Especially this year for me because I’ve got personal connections to children facing cancer.

“Flo came to me at the beginning of this term – 10 weeks ago and said, ‘I’m thinking about shaving off my hair for child cancer and I said, ‘wow that’s really exciting Flo’.

Flo Partridge having her head shaved.

“I said, ‘I really want you to think about why you’re doing it and learn a little bit about what the Child Cancer Foundation does’.”

Flo came back about three weeks later having researched the foundation and why she wanted to do it and how many children cancer affected, Patrice said.

“I said – ‘then you’ve got our full support, when would you like to do it?’ And as she started sharing her story over the next couple of weeks Milly jumped in and said, ‘actually I’d like to support as well’.

“Then when we talked to the staff Blake said, ‘we can’t do it without a staff member’ and the three of them got together to do it. I’m really proud of them for doing it – it’s such a
big thing.”

The school received a message from Patrice’s friend whose four-year-old daughter had been diagnosed with cancer.

Blake Walker having his head shaved.

Pupils at the assembly also heard from Tony Fitzgerald of the Child Cancer Foundation who said the experience was “so humbling, and so gratifying”.

“Look, it’s a really tough year for charities around New Zealand this year, especially for charities like us that are solely reliant on the donations of New Zealanders, so to see these kids really get behind a charity like ours it’s so humbling and gratifying.”

Eight hundred dollars was raised by the school, $2700 was raised from Flo’s fundraising page, and $2500 from Milly’s Givealittle page – both pages are still open until the end of October.

  • People can support Flo’s campaign at https://createyourown.everydayhero.com/nz/flo-s-head-shave and Milly’s campaign at https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/millysheadshave.

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