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Students support a cause close to their hearts

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While most students across the Hunter went to school as normal this morning, things were very different at Merewether High. 

What started out as an average day, turned into something rather exciting when more than 100 people got up on stage and shaved or chopped their hair. 

Parnika and Emily were two of the brave souls who said goodbye to their hair. Photos: Peter Stoop

The students made the bold and brave move to support the Leukemia Foundation. 

Since the start of the year, they’ve been raising funds with the hope of donating $80,000 to the charity.

At the time it seemed like an impossible target but after three months of fundraising they managed hit it. 

In fact, they exceeded their goal by more than $20,000 – raising a whopping $102,328.

Vice captain Charlie Lentfer could not be more proud of their efforts and says it was incredible to see it all come together. 

“It’s amazing, it’s honestly a great feeling it’s a weight off our shoulders,” he said. 

“We’re so glad it is over and that it all came together and we raised so much money for such a great cause. 

“I’ve had my hair shaved a few times but I know a few people who had longer hair, for them it is a literal weight off their shoulders.

“I think it’s a great feeling to have the wind go through your scalp,” he added with a laugh. 

Merewether High School vice captain Charlie Lentfer getting his hair shaved.

“I am so proud of everybody, we all worked so hard, it was a real group effort and it was great to see the whole school get behind it and the wider community.”

Participating in the World’s Greatest Shave has become a tradition for the school – each year the Year 12 cohort come together to plan the event with the aim of helping as many people as possible.

They also like to set a fundraising target that will beat the years before – in 2021 the pupils raised more than $70,000 while the year before that donated $52,000. 

Prefect Eshal Khalid is stoked they managed to raise so much money. 

“It’s really exciting because I feel like this whole time, even throughout high school everyone has been looking forward to this event,” she said.  

“It is nice to see all of our efforts come together.”

Even though Eshal didn’t shave her hair, she’s still feeling a little lighter after cutting her hair to shoulder length. 

It’s something she still found a little bit nerve-wracking. 

“It feels a little bit uneven and a lot lighter than it was before, it was an instant relief,” she said. 

“I’m not someone who is that attached to my hair but in the past week or two I have been thinking: ‘oh my gosh, my long hair is going to be gone’ but I thought about it and [realised] the whole reason we are doing this is for the World’s Greatest Shave and when people have leukemia and are losing their hair, they don’t have a choice about it.

“So that put things into perspective so I was like you know what it doesn’t really matter, it will grow back.” 

There is still a little bit of time to donate, click here for more info.

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