CLERMONT’S PRIDE: Wendy Gaskin, Connor Anderson and Tom Mills accept the achievement medal on behalf of St Joseph’s World’s Greatest Shave Team.
CLERMONT’S PRIDE: Wendy Gaskin, Connor Anderson and Tom Mills accept the achievement medal on behalf of St Joseph’s World’s Greatest Shave Team. Tara Miko Emeclermontausda

Clermont fundraiser nets local woman Australia Day award

THE close-knit Clermont community rides the highs and lows together, so when one resident is diagnosed with a potentially deadly disease, there is a band of supporters behind them.

St Joseph's School teacher Wendy Gaskin was one such supporter who instigated an astonishing $19,000 fundraising effort in the 2012 World's Greatest Shave for a Cure drive.

Mrs Gaskin's efforts didn't go unnoticed and earned her an Individual Achievement Medal, which was presented to the humble hero on Saturday at Clermont's Australia Day ceremony.

"It highlights the importance of doing volunteer work, and just how much volunteering means for the town," Mrs Gaskin said.

Raising the money and shaving her head was the easy part, she said, but handling the looks from people unaware of her charity efforts was a different story.

In response, Mrs Gaskin penned an article for the Clermont Rag which told of her experience of losing her hair and was well received by the community.

She explained how the reactions of complete strangers at the sight of her bald head made her feel, and the message resonated with other cancer survivors.

"I had a lady come up to me and say her daughter wanted to meet me," she said.

"She said she had just finished cancer treatment and that was exactly how she was feeling."

Mrs Gaskin's contributions to the Clermont Show were also recognised during the presentation by councillor Barbara Stranks at the Clermont Civic Centre.


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