Narda Collins and her daughter Melissa Wncuczynsk (pictured) shaved their heads as part of the World’s Greatest Shave in honour of former employee Shelley Dwyer.
Narda Collins and her daughter Melissa Wncuczynsk (pictured) shaved their heads as part of the World’s Greatest Shave in honour of former employee Shelley Dwyer. Rob Williams

Shave pays tribute to Shelley

MOTHER-and-daughter duo Narda Collins and Melissa Wncuczynsk were nervous but optimistic about losing their locks for the World's Greatest Shave fundraiser, to honour dearly loved friend Shelley Dwyer on Saturday.

Mrs Dwyer, who worked for Mrs Collins at North Ipswich News for almost 20 years, lost her battle with breast cancer last week.

Mrs Collins said Shelley had been a "loving, caring, beautiful-natured fighter".

"Her job was always here for her. I'd go without to give her anything," she said. "The person who comes along after her has big shoes to fill - size 20, at least."

Mrs Wncuczynsk laughed nervously as she waited for the clippers to start.

"It'll grow back," Mrs Wncuczynsk said. "I've never had short hair in my 37 years, so it's going to feel different."

North Ipswich resident Ursula Thorne, 84, first met Shelley when Shelley started working at the newsagent as a 17-year-old.

"No matter where you saw her she always had a smile on her face and never changed," Mrs Thorne said. "She was a lovely girl and was always happy to see you."

Mrs Collins and Mrs Wncuczynsk decided to shave their heads at the start of March and raised $9000 in three weeks.

That figure jumped to $12,000, with Rotary and Mayor Paul Pisasale each pledging impressive amounts after the shave.

Mrs Collins paid tribute to her loyal customers for helping her to raise the money.

"I couldn't ask for better customers, and they all loved Shelley," she said.

Spectators roared encouragement as the women lost their hair, with cries of "you're a legend" and "make sure you leave a rat's tail" lifting the spirits of all who looked on.

Leukaemia Foundation Ipswich branch co-ordinator Wayne Gaddes said each day five people in Queensland were diagnosed with blood cancer.

"Narda and Melissa have sent a message here today that the community cares and we don't go through things in isolation," Mr Gaddes said.

Mrs Collins finished the event with a few simple yet moving words: "Thank you from the bottom of my heart."



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