Tue, Jan 17, 2023 1:59 PM

Community rallies for marathon shear event


Paula Hulburt

Love, laughter, sweat and sheer grit has seen more than $68,000 raised by a community determined to help one of their own.

The Shear for Cora Shearathon got underway near Havelock on Saturday to raise money for Cora McConnell who needs treatment overseas for ovarian cancer.

And in just six weeks, the community rallied together to help make the event a huge success with a total tally of 6428 lambs and hoggets shorn in 24 hours.

Organisers Earl and Lisa Paewai, Freddy and Nikita Gane say they are delighted with how the shearathon went.

“When you can get rally together a community in six weeks to utilise their skills and time this is the end result.

“Raising over $68,000.00 (and still counting) for Cora's offshore cancer treatment. Top effort by all involved. Wishing Cora and her family all the very best.”

Hosted at Kaituna Ridges, the original plan was to shear 5,000 sheep in 24 hours.

The target was smashed, with participants working hard to raise as much as possible with 3,468 sheep shorn by the halfway point at 11pm on Friday.

Shearer Alice Watson takes a turn on the floor as The Shear for Cora fundraiser got underway. Photo: Courtesy of Shear for Cora.

Local businesses also showed their support, donating raffle items and pledging support for every head of sheep at up to 30cents for each one.

Cora has had to spend weeks away from her husband Euan and daughter Niamh while undergoing targeted cancer treatment in Germany.

In New Zealand one person is diagnosed with ovarian cancer every day and five die every week.

Cora has been undergoing IOZK-Immunotherapy in Cologne, Germany. The treatment mobilises the body’s own immune response, specifically targeting tumour growth.

Her battle resonated with people across the region.

Co-organiser Earl says taking part was an easy decision and he hopes the event also helps raise awareness about cancer in all its forms.

“The 'why' is simple love shearing. I have also had cancer take my grandfather, grandmother and my mum's sister.

“Shearing is a great way for people to­­­­ come together, express themselves and great for mental health and people love to watch it.

Local Shearer Josh Quinn also shaved his hair and beard off before the event got underway, boosting the total by $1000.

Knowing people affected by cancer inspired him to help, he says.

“I know people close to my heart with cancer and have seen what it does to them, I end up feeling so helpless and I feel like if I can do anything to help them in anyway this would be a great way to show my support for them.”

Marlborough shearer Sarah Hewson also pledged her support, saying she was happy to help any way she could.

“[I’m] just happy to put my hand up to help out in whatever way possible.

“This is what being part of a rural community is all about and everyone coming together to help someone out when needed.”

To donate to the fund for Cora visit “Cancer took my Mum’s life this year, it CAN’T take mine too” - Givealittle

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