“I sort of miss my hair, then I think I've done a good thing, not only for me but for Lilly. I love you Lilly, be strong.”
These are the sentiments of 16-year-old Will McEwen, who cut the long curly locks he had been growing for two years to help cancer sufferers, like Lilly Wyburn.
He might be missing his hair, but he is over the moon with the more than $10,000 he and his family raised for a little girl they’d never met.
Will’s brothers, Tom (19) and Bob (11), and one of Bob’s best mates, Jake Herring, also cut their full heads of hair off at the fundraising event at the Parkes Services Club.
Will’s mother, Jaimee Timmins, heard about Lilly’s plight on Facebook.
“I mentioned it to Will and we talked about how hard it must be for them,” she said.
“At that stage Will had been growing his hair to donate it for a cancer wig.
“He must have thought about it for a few days because he came back to me and said ‘I'm going to cut my hair and raise money for that little girl’.”
After Jaimee got in touch with Lilly’s mother Jodie, she started organising the fundraiser.
She set up the Locks for Lilly mycause page and a Locks for Lilly Facebook event.
“Jodie was in Sydney with Lilly when I spoke to her so it made it even more real that we needed to do something,” Jaimee said.
“Jodie was happy for us to come on board and start a fundraiser.
“Our initial target was $2000 but we set it at $5000 on the mycause page to raise more money.”
Jaimee’s sister-in-law Kara Timmins, of Hair with Kara Jane, was more than happy to donate her time and expertise to cut Will’s hair.
“I think we were all pretty excited to see Will's hair cut! It's been a long-time coming,” Jamie said.
A $500 anonymous donation really set the ball rolling on the mycause page and the fundraiser to include a raffle, silent auction and live auction at the services club was organised.
“Tom and Will drove around and asked for donations and left tins all over town,” Jaimee said.
“They were astounded by the amount of donations they got and couldn't believe people's generosity.
“I kept getting text messages saying 'mum someone just gave us $50’ or ‘someone just donated such and such'.
“They honestly did most of the leg work asking for donations while I sent emails and spammed everyone I knew,” Jaimee laughed.
Jaimee said leading up to the event Will was starting to get very nervous.
“But he kept saying it was all for a good cause. He is really a precious boy who is very caring,” she said.
On the day of the event, Will and Jaimee went around town and collected the tins and donated items.
There was $664.35 alone in the 11 tins that were placed around town.
The night kicked off with selling raffle tickets and the silent auction until it was time to cut Will's hair.
“Lilly and her family were able to be there which was awesome,” Jaimee said.
“She had a turn of cutting Will’s hair with the clippers and even helped the other kids sell raffle tickets.
“We were lucky to have such a great bunch of kids in Phoebe, Josie and Bronte Thompson, Mason Ruzgas and Bob selling the tickets.
“We received plenty of support from friends and family but also locals who had heard about the event.
“Cindi Murphy and the services club were amazing and supported us 100 per cent. Nothing was a problem for them.”
Jaimee said she was really surprised to see so many of Will's peers there.
“Not often you see a bunch of 16-year-olds at a services club on a Friday night, but they were all there supporting him,” she said.
After all of Will’s hair was gone, someone suggested Tom shave his head too.
“He said he would for $500 so we gave him a tin and he walked around the club and ended up collecting over $800,” Jaimee said.
“So then we put the pressure on Bob to cut his hair! He was very nervous and hesitant because he's been trying to grow his hair but in the end he relented.”
Bob said he agreed to do it because people with cancer don't have a choice.
“And we raised more money because Tom and I did ours,” he said.
“I really miss my hair though!”
Jake Herring, also decided to shave his head in support of his mate Bob.
“My nan died of cancer and it's not fair anyone else should go through it,” Jake said.
“It felt good to raise money for Lilly and her family.”
Tom also lost both his eyebrows to the clippers.
“That was a bonus,” Jaimee said.
“When a local lady offered a $100 donation if Tom shaved his eyebrows, he didn't even hesitate and just said ‘yeah no worries’.”
Tom said he misses his eyebrows the most.
“I never thought I'd shave them or my hair, but it was for a good cause,” he said.
At the end of the night a rough calculation revealed they were just short of $10,000.
“The club donated the money from their Saturday night raffles, so we were even closer,” Jaimee said.
“A last-minute share on Facebook and emails all around got us over the target which was phenomenal.
“The boys are still saying they can't believe they raised that much money.
“Small towns are awesome for rallying behind someone in need and it was amazing to see everyone's generosity.
“I am extremely proud of my three boys and still can't believe all three of them shaved their heads and one set of eyebrows.”
Jaimee is no stranger to organising events like Locks for Lilly, and has been nominated for County Rugby League Volunteer of the Year.
“I've always been involved in community events and hosted some fundraisers with the junior league club when we lived in Gilgandra,” she said
“We raised money for some really good causes, HeartKids, Ovarian Cancer and the McGrath Foundation, so the boys have always been taught that it's good to give back to the community.
“I've volunteered with football committees for about 15 years now so the boys expect it. They are spoilt kids but doesn't hurt them to know how to give back and help out where they can.
“It takes nothing to run a fundraiser just your time and if someone else needs it, well why not!”
Donations came from; Narelle Page, Rhonda and Bruce Timmins, Sportspower, Red Chandelier, Joy McWhirter, Video Ezy, Woolworths, IGA, Buttabeef Butchery, Commercial Hotel, Railway Hotel, Parkes Services Club, Frank Spice, Brian Collins Smash Repairs, 141 Boutique, Nangar Gems, Ron Dunford Chemist, Dominos Pizza, JPs Body Piercing, La Bella, Adele Hair Salon, Bellas.