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AARNet staff tackle fundraising challenges

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Madison with her newly-cropped hair

From losing their locks to daily running regimes, three AARNet staff chose distinctive ways to raise money for charity during the first half of 2017

 

Madison KhoData Finance Officer Madison Kho spent an incredible five years — almost a quarter of her life — growing her hair so she could donate it as a wig for a child suffering from Leukaemia.

“Wigs are expensive and knowing what they could mean to a child without hair, how it could help build their self-esteem, made it a lot easier to give something away that I had plenty of,” Madison said.

She got the chop at a Leukaemia Foundation World’s Greatest Shave event. She was nervous about the results but explains that her fears were unfounded.

“I was actually thrilled with the cut, and I had a lovely and skilled hairdresser called Sharon Blain. She regularly volunteers for the World’s Greatest Shave and supports women affected by cancer by doing free wig maintenance as well.”

As well as donating her hair for the wig, Madison’s sponsorship has raised over $3,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation, which carries out research and helps families suffering from the disease.

“At first I set my goal to $1,000, but thanks to my colleagues at AARNet it took only a day to reach it, and I had to increase my goal further. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support from donations bigger than I imagined. It is lovely to see how a common cause can rally so much support.”

Fitness goals

Matthew PutlandInfrastructure Project Manager Matthew Putland’s efforts were a little more spontaneous. The day before the challenge was due to start, he stumbled upon some information on For Fitness Sake on social media.

The challenge — to move 100k in 10 days to raise money for kids’ disability charity House with No Steps — appealed to Matthew immediately.

“I thought: I will give that a go, I could do that. Exercise for me, fundraising for others. Win – Win,” he said.

Matthew ran twice a day, morning and evening — although motivation was harder to come by in the evening. In total he ran 103km, raising $442 for House with No Steps.

“I felt a real sense of accomplishment knowing that I have done a little bit,” Matthew said.  “Multiply what I raised by the perhaps thousands of participants and it soon adds up. I appreciate everyone that supported and contributed, and I’m looking forward to completing the challenge again next year.”

Hitting the road

Thomas NewlandsNetwork Solutions Engineer Thomas Newlands also favoured a sporting approach to fundraising, taking part in the three-day Tour de Rocks cycle ride.

Thomas only picked up his bike six weeks before the event and made it to the end “sore, but with a sense of accomplishment,” having seen how far he could push himself.

“The hills were far bigger than anything I had ever ridden before, but considering I don’t normally ride a bike I did better than I’d expected,” Thomas said.

His pedalling raised $2,452.3, which will be distributed to cancer research and cancer programs.

“The team I rode with was set up by some close friends after their father passed away from cancer. In total we raised over $20k, and it’s for a great cause where you can see 100% of your contribution go directly to where it’s needed.”


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