Hairdresser Keryn Evans from Shine Greytown showing Sally Morch her new hairdo. PHOTO/ELISA VORSTER

ELISA VORSTER

elisa.vorster@age.co.nz

In April 2017, Sally Morch’s 73-year-old husband, Evan, was told he had acute myeloid leukaemia.

Four weeks later, he died.

On Tuesday, Mrs Morch, a retired Greytown School teacher, marked almost a year since her husband’s death by shaving her hair off to raise money to support those suffering from leukaemia and blood cancer.

She hoped, through help from friends, family and community organisations, she would be able to raise $2000.

“I set myself a challenge of four weeks to reach my target,” she said.

“Hopefully, by the end of the day it reaches $2000 but if it doesn’t I’ll top it up myself.”

Before the event, Mrs Morch was a little nervous, but she soon got into the spirit of things, with the audience clapping and cheering as she yelled, “This is for Evan”.

The shave took place at The Offering cafe in Greytown, whose owners Bevan and Jaqui Morland also donated a portion of the day’s coffee sales to the cause.

“We’re all about keeping things local,” cafe manager Natalie Ryder said.

“We believe if you support local, they’ll give back.”

The woman in charge of the deed was Mrs Morch’s regular hairdresser and Shine Greytown owner, Keryn Evans, who said she was happy to support a community event which touched on a subject which affected everyone.

Mrs Morch’s haircut began as usual, but things took a change of direction when her hair became sprayed pink and styled into a mohawk — something her son-in-law, Mike, had dared her to do.

The shave then continued until all her hair was gone.

Greytown School pupils provided support after pitching in $514 raised through a mufti day.

Mrs Morch worked at the school for almost 20 years.

“We try to support a local charity every term with either a mufti day or an act of service,” principal Patrice O’Connor said.

“Sally worked for a number of years as a fulltime teacher and has been relieving since she retired.

“Her husband passed last year with leukaemia and we know there are other families in the school who have been affected in some way too.

“Last year, our student James Moreland shaved his hair for ‘Shave for a Cure’ and we wanted to support Sally the same way we supported him.”

Mrs Morch said the backing from people in the community had been “just terrific”. It was great the kids were getting behind it too, to learn what an effect leukaemia can have on people.

“I just want to say the community support has been fantastic in the last year and I really, really appreciate it so thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

At 5pm Tuesday, Mrs Morch was 39th on the national ‘Shave for a Cure’ leaderboard with a total of $1601 raised, however, with the money from the Greytown School and The Offering, she said the total exceeded her $2000 target.