Ten year old Violet Hansen from Skennars Head had an extreme haircut at school yesterday as part of the World’s Greatest Shave, to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation.
Violet’s dad shaved her head in front of her fifth grade class at St Francis Xavier Primary School in Ballina. School principal Daniel Gubby told The Echo, ‘We’re really proud of Violet. This was her initiative.
‘When it was brought to our attention that she was keen to do the Shave for a Cure, we were keen to support her, so we’ve decided to make a whole school fundraiser to support Violet, and tomorrow we’ve got a coloured hair day for all the other boys and girls,’ said Mr Gubby.
‘We’re very impressed with her fundraising efforts to this point. Hopefully we’ll be able to add to that tomorrow.
‘Pretty much all of us are affected in some way by cancer, so it’s great to see as much support for this cause as we can get.’
Statistics from the Leukaemia Foundation show that 47 Australians are diagnosed with a blood cancer every day, with one Australian losing their life to blood cancer every two hours.
Although research is improving survival rates, further fundraising for treatment and research is vital for getting on top of the disease, which affects adults and children.
Before the big trim, Violet said she was very nervous and very excited as well. ‘I’ve had a short haircut before but I’ve never had it this short!’
Violet’s fellow students laughed and clapped as her curly locks fell to the floor. Her father Ben Hansen (who usually works in IT) did the bulk of the cutting, but the tidying up job was done by professional hairdresser Lea Crawford.
Violet’s fifth grade teach Abbie Beecher said she wasn’t surprised Violet decided to sacrifice her hair for a good cause. ‘She’s one of those students who is so giving and so generous,’ she said.
‘I’m so proud of Violet, she’s such a beautiful person. She’s inspiring the other students to make changes in the world.’
First time for everything
Father Ben Hansen said he felt the pressure to perform with the clippers in front of the class but it was a great experience. ‘They were having so much fun it made my job easier!’
He said he was impressed with his daughter’s drive. ‘She’s like a juggernaut with these things, she gets something in her head and pushes until we help make it happen. But we’re so proud.
‘At first we thought she just wanted to get her head shaved for a bit of a laugh, but she started to read up and got really dedicated to this cause, and we couldn’t stop her, so here we are now!’
Violet’s mother Elly thought it was great to see the school getting behind the shave. ‘She believes in something and then she just goes for it. She pestered us for two years and finally we decided she was serious!’ Violet is also a Ballina Girl Guide of five years, so she’s used to the concept of service and helping others.
After the big shave, Violet’s friends said they thought she looked ‘amazing and beautiful – we love her’.
Violet Hansen has already exceeded her second fundraising target of $1250 and is excited to see how much further she can go.
Where the money goes
- $250 is enough to enable a family to attend a support program specific to their situation.
- $560 is enough to give a regional family a free place to stay close to treatment in the city for one week.
- $1200 will cover two weeks of accommodation for families facing a blood cancer who live far away from life-saving treatment, so they can focus solely on getting better.