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Shaggy fellas: Dave Van Maanenberg, Tony Cornell, Gavan Pritchett, Ray Edwards, hairdresser Mandy Gillies, Norm Gillespie and Lloyd Newnham. Photos: Megan Fisher
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Residents of Lifestyle Shepparton retirement village on Channel Rd, Shepparton, have raised about $3800 to fight prostate cancer by shaving off their hair.
Residents of the community have raised almost $46,000 for cancer research since 2014.
The blokes sat at the front of the club house hall with the residents watching on from tables, with cups of tea.
Hairdresser Mandy Gillies threw the salon cape over their shoulders and flicked on her clippers; Lloyd Newnham was first.
When it was Ray Edwards’ turn, he challenged the spectators that if they committed to $100 in donations, he would go completely bald.
The residents started bidding on his hair, waving paper notes above their heads vigorously.
Within a minute $100 was collected.
Mr Edwards sat stoically as his head and face were shaved.
Meanwhile, Tony Cornell sat by chuckling, wearing a bright pink shirt and tutu.
Gavan Pritchett and some of his friends at the retirement community organise the shave every year.
All money raised goes to the Peter Copulos Cancer and Wellness Centre at Goulburn Valley Health.
“A couple of people I know have had prostate cancer,” Mr Pritchett said.
“So I thought I’d get out there and do something about it.”
The retirement community management matches dollar-for-dollar any money raised for charity by the residents.
That means these formerly hairy men will hand over almost $8000 to the Peter Copulos centre.
In the first year they raised $4700 for the centre, which went to paying the wages of the nurse in the community-funded cancer ward.
But now the money goes to research, care and treatment at the centre.
“We have many men with out-of-pocket expenses,” GV Health prostate cancer specialist nurse Nicole Lewis said.
“It could be for the PET scans, it could be out of pocket for travelling, accommodation … we can use that money to help these men.”
The other participants usually grow a moustache or a beard for Movember, but Mr Pritchett doesn’t have a shave or a haircut for two months in the lead-up to the event.
He then shaves it all off, usually on live television, leaving nothing but his eyebrows.
“I’ll be glad when all this comes off,” he said.
“But two months of discomfort are worth it in the end.”
Some participants are sponsored by local businesses or others in the community.
But Mr Pritchett said most of the money was raised from within the retirement community because they didn’t advertise their fundraisers widely.
They also run a raffle on the day of the shave for $1 a ticket, sponsored by local businesses.
On offer are vouchers for local businesses, produce from local growers, hampers and some tools.
“We’ll raffle anything, so don’t stand still,” Mr Pritchett said.
Mr Pritchett has lived at Lifestyle Shepparton for nine years.
After living there for 18 months the community started doing fundraisers for the Heart Foundation and Pink Ribbon Day.
But Mr Pritchett said there was nothing for men’s health.
So he started the shave to raise money and awareness of men’s cancers, particularly prostate cancer.
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