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RE/MAX Principal sheds locks for cancer foundation

RE/MAX ‘Go For Sold’ owner Pamela Lee Burge has graciously sacrificed her locks in the name of a good cause.

Based in Palmerston North in New Zealand, Mrs Lee Burge had her head shaved by local radio personality ‘Burnzee’ at the RE/MAX Go For Sold’s fourth annual Pink Ribbon Breakfast for Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand on May 25.

When asked why she took on the challenge, Mrs Lee Burge noted she had a choice to lop her locks but many cancer sufferers don’t. Meanwhile, an article she read recently further instilled her commitment to the fundraising effort.

“I read there’s hope that in 10 years’ time cancer might be considered a chronic illness, not a terminal one. But to be something completely treatable, there would need to be affordable treatments and medicines. Fundraising is critical if we are going to get there.”

There is also a personal side to Mrs Lee Burge’s involvement with the cause. Her youngest daughter was taken by cancer at age 10 and her husband at 58.

The RE/MAX Go For Sold team has also experienced breast cancer first-hand, with agent Donna Cliff’s life having been hugely affected.

RE/MAX’s Go For Sold Pink Ribbon Breakfast raised more than $10,000, which was a significant increase on the $8,500 raised last year.

“$10,000 was the goal, though I wondered if it was possible!” Mrs Lee Burge said. “I should not have doubted, because each year we have amazing sponsors and everyone on our team works incredibly hard to make it a fundraising success.”

And when Mrs Lee Burge speaks of her team’s hard work, she means it.

“The staff prepare all the food. For example, Ashleigh Matenga spent a whole week making pink iced cupcakes. Other staff baked, and all of the croissants were made up by staff on Saturday morning.”

After several successful fundraising Pink Ribbon events in the past, Ms Lee Burge said locals now eagerly await the annual ‘by invitation only’ event, with around 180 accepting this year.

Along with the breakfast fare, the Pink Ribbon Breakfast involves entertainment, an auction of well-received items and services, and raffles of donations that are made up into in beautiful baskets.

Mrs Lee Burge joked that although she wasn’t the scheduled ‘entertainment’ at this year’s event, donation buckets rapidly filled as Burnzee shaved her head. Mrs Lee Burge opted to go pink for a week before losing her locks, then donned a tinsel wig immediately after in a nod to the daughter she’d lost.

Her Facebook post after the event said: “I’m adjusting to life with no hair and now have a much bigger variety of scarfs than I use to. But the main thing is I am very grateful for my gift of health and wish everyone that has been affected by this terrible illness all the support in the world.

“The annual Pink Ribbon Breakfast is close to all our hearts and we’ll be back next year. It’s important we do this because it’s the right thing to do.”

Donations can still be made online until the end of May at pinkribbonbreakfast.co.nz/page/remaxgoforsold

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