Grace overwhelmed by support

Grace Watterson with her mum Bec Ruttley after her big hair cut.

Seven year-old Grace Watterson raised a phenomenal amount of money the Kids Cancer Project last week.

According to her mum Bec Ruttley, Grace managed to raise a total of $1335.85, more than double the goal of $500.

“I was pretty gobsmacked when I read how much it was,” Ms Ruttley said.

While Grace’s fundraising efforts had achieved their goal the Monday before she lopped her locks, Ms Ruttley was not expecting such a large total.

“$705.40 came from online donations and the rest was the collection boxes and the school. She did get cash donations on the day.”

To celebrate Grace’s efforts St Joseph’s School had a crazy hair day. Students spray-dyed their hair, put on wigs, and teased their locks from here to eternity. A few even got into the Christmas spirit with tinsel, streamers and fairy lights in their hair.

“I know the school alone raised $252.40,” Ms Ruttley said.

“It was only a gold coin donation for the crazy hair day, but there were $10 notes and $5 notes in there. People were very generous.”

Grace also made a particularly special donation, cutting off nearly all of her hair to make a wig for a child with cancer.

“I measured it that night and it was nearly 40 centimetres long. It only needed to be 30cm,” Ms Ruttley said.

The donated hair will now be sent off to a foundation, where it can be made into a child’s wig.

A special assembly was called at St Joseph’s for the whole school to watch Grace’s big hair cut.

“We’ve brought you all here for a different kind of entertainment,” Principal Graeme Urquhart joked.

The decision to fundraise and donate hair came directly from Grace herself. According to Ms Ruttley, Grace has wanted to start a fundraiser for a year now.

Grace’s fundraising goal was linked to her family’s connections with Alice Sjollema. Alice died of leukaemia in 1993 aged just six years old; Grace’s middle name is Alice in her honour.

Grace and her family chose the Kids Cancer Project due to its founder Col Reynolds, who also had strong ties to the Sjollema family.

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