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Close to $50,000 is expected to be raised from the 24-hour Shear-a-thon at Wohelo Station, near Heriot, on Waitangi Day, more than $36,000 coming from the shearing alone.
Organised by station owners Fiona and Nelson Hancox, and Jared Manihera, of Heriot, the event was held to raise money for farm manager Shaun Bradley and his family, wife Olivia and 10-month old daughter Charlotte.
Mr Bradley has been battling stage-four large B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a secondary central nervous system brain tumour.
He and his family attended the event after coming south from Christchurch where he was undergoing chemotherapy and they returned the next day to resume treatment.
Mr Manihera said the event started at 10am on Thursday and finished at the same time on Friday, 7276 lambs from the Hancox’s farms having been shorn.
Three shearers, Eru Weeds, of Roxburgh (1385 shorn); Cole Wells, of Roxburgh, (930) and Matt Hunt, of Waikaka, (877) shore for the full 24 hours (18 hours each plus breaks), while many other shearers from throughout the region also shore for shorter periods, including Dave Gower, of Alexandra, who did 564.
‘‘It was amazing what they did,’’ Mr Manihera said.
He, along with several other people, stayed awake through most of it.
‘‘I slept for about 40 minutes at breakfast on Friday,’’ he said.
‘‘I have fried brain.’’
Former shearers and now dairy farmers Michelle and Barry Harrex, of Gore, turned up later on Thursday night and each shore 100 sheep.
In addition to shearing some sheep, Mr Manihera was also shorn, losing his hair to Mr Bradley, which raised $4000.
At the end, Mr Hancox announced the shearing alone had raised $36,380.
That did not include money raised from the hair cut, crutching, and other donations.
Mrs Hancox said it had been a great fundraiser, particularly with the support from the communities, the people who donated their time and labour to rousie and clean up, and those who supplied the food.
As donations and other money was still being banked, as of Saturday they did not yet have a final total, she said.
The shed was often packed with people and many stayed for some or most of the event, even during the night.
‘‘That support kept the guys going for the 24 hours,’’ she said.
Mr Manihera said there were eight stands in action but, as they thought they might run out of dry sheep, they closed three down for a few hours to keep enough available for the three shearers who wanted to push on for the full 24 hours.
‘‘It was incredible. We did not expect them to shear that fast,’’ he said.
Mr Bradley thanked everyone at the end of the event and said he was grateful for their support.
There had been heavy rain and flooding in the region the day before and there was discussion as to whether it would go ahead, particularly as many roads were out of action.
However, that did not deter organisers and the shearers.
Two shearing contractors — Southern Heights and Southwest Shearing — had put their staff on stand-by to help in case other volunteers could not get through.
Once shearing had finished, the clean-up took several hours.
‘‘I want to thank everyone for their support and there were so many people who turned up and helped out,’’ Mr Manihera said.
He said after after the cleanup, he caught up on his sleep, and would then deal with the eight loads of washing sitting in his truck.