Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Ben’s tally at $3500 with more time to donate

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It’s been almost three weeks since Ben Leetham lost his trade mark dreadlocks in a Deniliquin CanAssist fundraiser.

And with just a few days left to complete his campaign, Mr Leetham’s tally has exceeded $3500.

While surprised by the amount, he is calling on the community to dig deep and help him raise as much as possible to support people in our community with cancer.

‘‘It (the amount raised) is crazy, and way more than expected,’’ he said.

‘‘And we still will have to count up for the last few days, and will have an official total at the end of the month.’’

Mr Leetham was inspired to grow out his hair for five years in honour of a number of family members who have suffered from cancer, particular­ly an aunt who lost her battle a few years ago.

And so keeping the fundraiser in the community was also key, he said.

‘‘I wanted to keep it as local as possible, so it goes straight back in to the town. ‘‘I’m glad I did it.’’ Offering support for the fundraiser has been Mr Leetham’s employers at Deniliquin Mitre 10.

They have had collection tins on the counters, and allowed Mr Leetham to hold a public shave event in the

Hardinge St car park on August 9.

At the time, Mr Leetham joked he might be unrecognis­able in the community without the dreads he had been cultivatin­g for two years. And it proved true.

‘‘That morning I saw a guy and I told him that he won’t recognise me in an hour.

‘‘Later that night, he walked straight past me in the supermarke­t.’’

One downside of losing the dreads, Mr Leetham has found, is that he feels the cold more keenly.

And so, a beanie has been his most trusted accessory since the shave.

Fundraisin­g collection tins will remain on the counter at Mitre 10 until the end of August.

All proceeds will be donated to Deniliquin Can Assist, which provides financial assistance to local families impacted by cancer. Support is often in the form of fuel vouchers or help with accommodat­ion costs associated with travel for treatment, or help with utility bills.

 ??  ?? ■ Ben Leetham with proud mum Karma Leetham after the cut.
■ Ben Leetham with proud mum Karma Leetham after the cut.

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