Garrett sticks to principal: Calare community helps turn grief to generosity

Calare Public School rallied behind one of their own, raising nearly $2500 for Carrie’s Beanies For Brain Cancer to support year 6 student Garrett Dunbar, whose mum died from brain cancer 12 months ago. 

Garrett and Calare Public School principal Steve Bingon both shaved their heads in front of the school on Friday to raise the money.

The special assembly had the whole school cheering and laughing as the pair were shaved, while Carrie’s Beanies for Brain Cancer founder and host of The Project Carrie Bickmore sent a video message to Garrett and the school. 

It’s been an incredibly difficult 18 months for Garrett and his family, and he said Friday was a chance to do something. 

“In 2017 my mum Katie was diagnosed with brain cancer and later that year she passed away, and I just wanted to shave my head to raise awareness for brain cancer,” he said. 

“I was just crying one night and said ‘you know what, I’m going to do something. I’m going to shave my head and raise money for it’.”

He said he appreciated the school getting behind him. 

“It’s really good, it’s really nice to know if I need anyone to lean on I can lean on them because they trust me and I trust them,” Garrett said.

I was just crying one night and said ‘you know what, I’m going to do something. I’m going to shave my head and raise money for it.’

Garrett Dunbar

Garrett’s father Brett Dunbar was watching on and said he was “very proud” of his son. 

“It’s something he decided to do six weeks ago, to raise awareness for brain cancer and it was something he wanted to do without any encouragement from me,” Mr Dunbar said.

“The whole atmosphere in the school is great, to raise what they have in such a short period of time is incredible.”

The final total of $2482.15 on Friday was an incredible achievement for the school, but Mr Bingon said what was just as important was the school community coming together to make the day so rewarding.

“That’s the nice thing about it, we were able to turn it into an uplifting experience for Garrett. It’s about empowerment and it is about joining together to fight against those things, and it’s great to get that support from his classmates,” he said. 

“It’s a really tough journey for him and an emotional journey for him.”

For anyone wanting to donate to Garrett’s cause, follow this link or donate directly to Carrie’s Beanies For Brain Cancer.