it IS officially Ireland’s most-admired charity appeal, and the Shave or Dye campaign, which raises funds and awareness for the Irish Cancer Society, shows no sign of slowing down.
In Kilkenny, the most recent volunteer to have his locks shorn was Facilities Director of Kilkenny’s Aut Even Hospital, Derek Martin. Derek, whose mother-in-law passed away from cancer a number of months ago, wanted to give something back to the services that had helped him and his family during the difficult time.
A crowd of over 60 staff and well-wishers gathered in the third floor day room of Aut Even last Friday, to watch the Derek have his head shaved for the ICS charity.
“I decided to do this about three weeks ago,” he said.
“I let the staff vote on whether I would shave it or dye it, and they went for shaving it,” he added.
In the meantime, staff from the hospital, led by Kathleen O’ Neill, Lillian Connolly and Kathriona Garry, have been raising funds for the cause. Between Derek’s sponsorship card, bucket collections, as well as the main event - last week’s raffle - the group have managed to raise over almost €1,300 for the cause.
“It’s way in excess of our target,” said Ms Garry.
Stylist Tricia Hennessey, from Peter Mark’s in Kilkenny, was on hand to do the honours. She says she has seen a huge number of people of late who want to get involved in the Today FM Shave or Dye campaign.
The shaving itself takes little over a minute, and soon Derek has shorn locks. It is 25 years since his hair was this short, and he admits to feeling a little colder, but says he will definitely do it again.
Nationally, the campaign raised over €1.3 million for the Irish Cancer Society last year, and is well on its way this year with some €450,000 already in the kitty.