Shear kindness for Zach

Kate MatthewsCountryman

Shearers are often stereotyped for their tough exterior, but on the inside they can have hearts of gold — ask Zachariah Davies.

Just before Christmas, five teams of shearers and shed hands in Kojonup rallied together to raise the final amount needed for the six-year-old’s dream trip to Disneyland this week.

The Bunbury boy was diagnosed with an aggressive cancerous tumour on his spinal column and right arm just weeks before his fifth birthday.

After six months of chemotherapy and two months of radiotherapy in Perth, Zach was sent home.

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But scans in September showed the tumour had grown and no further treatment was available.

For six months last year, residents across the South West and Great Southern rallied behind the Davies family to fund raise for the trip to make Zach’s wish become a reality.

The Kojonup shearers heard about fundraising efforts through local contractor Steve Potaka-Osborne’s grandson, who was collecting gold coin donations.

Mr Potaka-Osborne said 42 shearers and shed hands from his teams decided to donate their wages from a day’s shearing to help Zach raise $10,000 which included a contribution from Mr Osborne and Kojonup farmer Nic Outhwaite.

Sixteen shearers took it in turns to shear 1100 sheep in six hours in three runs.

Zach’s dad, Jeramy, who grew up in Kojonup, said with the money raised from Kojonup and Bunbury, they had enough for the family of five’s trip.

“We’ve had a lot of support in the last two years from family and friends and the financial support, not just from Bunbury, from everywhere, is way more than we expected,” Mr Davies said.

“If anyone feels motivated to donate to this type of cause, please donate to the Make a Wish Foundation and Starlight Children’s Foundation.”

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