Greer inspires shave

By Christine McKay

Seeing little cancer survivor Greer Feck sitting close by helped Tararua mayor Roly Ellis cope with the shock of having his hair shaved off.

"When you see that little girl and realise everything she's had to cope with, well being bald is nothing really," he said. "Most of us have had a reasonable innings, so to help raise money for Greer and others like her, it was pretty easy to do."

Mr Ellis said his wife nominated him to have his locks shaved.

"I think she wanted a new model, but now with my hair gone, there'll be no more of this old grey mayor treatment. People should be treating me with more respect in the office at least," he said.

The last time Mr Ellis had his head shaved was in December 1965 when he joined the British Army.

Mr Ellis joined Shane MacDonald, a builder with Mitchell and Greatbatch and Dannevirke High School teacher Graeme King in sacrificing their locks for the cause at a bumper fundraising night at the Vault Cafe last Thursday.

"Shane was the first to put his hand up to be shaved and personally gained more than $1000 in sponsorship and brought along 16 friends to take part in the evening," Wayne McDonagh, of the Professionals, said. "Before, Shane would spend a lot of time in front of the mirror, but now he'll be out the door 10 minutes earlier in the morning, all thanks to some generous sponsorship.

"This town has opened its heart for a great night," Mr McDonagh said.

Organised by the Professionals as part of their ongoing support of the Child Cancer Foundation, the cafe was packed with people keen to support the cause.

And with 5-year-old Greer Feck and her mother, Aimee, attending, the reason for the event hit home for everyone, especially when Greer showed off her 1400 beads of courage - each one representing a procedure or treatment.

Greer was diagnosed with spinal cancer when she was 14 months old and has undergone a number of surgeries and chemotherapy. Her cancer left her unable to walk, but after the surgeries, she is now able to walk unassisted.

"She has been through so much," Aimee said.

The generous crowd opened their wallets to help raise money for the cause and although the final total isn't known yet, nationally the Professionals real estate group has raised $3.5 million for the foundation.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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