Brigades footy club raises thousands of dollars in mass head and beard shave fundraiser
It would be virtually mission impossible to find a tighter knit group of people than those who belong to a country footy club.
And nowhere was that more evident recently than when Brigades held a fundraiser for one of their own fighting one of life’s toughest battles.
Spirit, generosity, laughter — and lots of hair — were overflowing when members gathered to raise funds in support of former president Jason O’Brien, who is undergoing treatment for brain cancer.
Last month’s fundraiser after the Hawks game against Northampton started off as shaving a few beards, then quickly grew to getting rid of beards — and hair — from about 20 willing participants, including women’s player Emmalyn Aarts, who said goodbye to her locks.
Aarts was willing to shave her head if she could raise $200, but within minutes she had about $1000 in pledges and was facing the clippers. “Dale Williamson and Rex Pattrick started the fundraiser to shave their beards off,” Brigades president Craig Harrington said.
“Craig and Luke O’Brien jumped on board and we ended up doing heads as well on the night.
“On the night, people started getting up and auctioning off people’s heads. Erinn McCartney paid some money trying to keep his hair and ended up shaving it; he was growing his surfie locks.”
Most of the league team was among those who shaved their heads, while Pattrick farewelled the beard he had been growing for about five years.
In a show of cross-club goodwill, Northampton stayed around after the game to support the fundraiser, with Rams president Damian Harris helping out. On the night, $7500 was raised, and total donations so far, including from a GoFundMe page, has reached about $17,700, which will go to the Charlie Teo Foundation.
O’Brien couldn’t make it in person to the fundraiser, but the event was live-streamed so he could witness how much he means to his club and how strong the blue and gold army is in his corner.
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