Shearers shorn for a cause

By Country News

Sheep were not the only things being shorn at the Shearing for Kids with Cancer Day in Rushworth on Friday, August 3.

The Ogden family faced the clippers, with all five members losing their locks to raise money for children’s cancer charity, My Room.

It was the fourth year the event was organised at Bill and Val Barlow’s property in Rushworth, and the first time the Ogden clan took to the shears to raise some funds.

‘‘All up we raised $53620, which was well above what we thought we would get to,’’ organiser Katrina Ogden said.

‘‘Last year we raised $27000, so we did not think we would get anywhere near where we did.’’

The family members shaved their heads after a busy day of sheep shearing, auctions and raffle draws — all to raise money for clinical research, trials, care, medical equipment and family support.

Mrs Ogden said the idea for the day came about four years ago after a young Nagambie girl was diagnosed with cancer.

The community rallied around the girl and her family who had ties to the Rushworth area.

Four years on and the young girl is healthy and cancer-free and the day continues to raise funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital and other children’s charities.

Mrs Ogden said her husband shaved his head at the event last year, which inspired the whole family to give it a go this year.

‘‘I decided to shave my hair ... I thought, ‘my hair is going to grow back — and kids lose their hair all the time when they are getting cancer treatments’,’’ she said.

‘‘My eldest, who is eight, said, ‘I want to shave my hair with you, Mum’ — so we all decided to do it.’’

More than 500 Merino sheep were shorn on the day by 11 shearers who worked for free.

Mrs Ogden said the sheep were supplied by property owner Bill Barlow, who donated the money he would have spent on wages for the day.

Mrs Ogden and Mr Barlow presented the $53620 to My Room on Thursday’s episode of the AFL’s The Footy Show.

‘‘The amount of support we received from local businesses and people in the community was amazing, I can’t thank them enough,’’ Mrs Ogden said.

‘‘The day was all about the kids; whatever we thought they would have wanted, we did.’’

—Liz Mellino