By Casey Neill
Pokemon Go players from the Mount Evelyn area rallied to support one of their own and to aid cancer research.
Glenn Gordon lost his father to the disease earlier this year.
His Lilydale Raid Group co-admin David Martin explained that the pair had a friendly rivalry.
“We’re always giving each other a bit of stick,” he said.
They make bets about who can catch the most ‘shinies’, with most ending with the loser making a donation to charity.
“People started hearing what was happening,” Mr Martin said.
“They started coming on board.
“People put their money in their pockets and said ‘we want to chuck this on top’.”
It gave them the idea for a head-shave fund-raiser to support the Cancer Council.
Barber Bec Campbell from Mount Evelyn’s Dragon Tattoo Co donated her time on Sunday 21 October to make it happen.
Mr Martin usually wears his hair short but grew it out for the challenge. Mr Gordon coloured his locks.
“Glenn lost his father very quickly. I think he got diagnosed with cancer three months before he actually died,” Mr Martin said.
“My mum, she was supposed to last six months. She died two years later.
“That was 15 years ago but it’s still raw.”
Another Lilydale Raid Group member, Helen Godfrey, shed her shoulder-length blonde hair.
“She’s also lost a few people to cancer,” Mr Martin said.
“Her mother had three bouts of breast cancer over 25 years. She eventually died because of it.”
Other members of the 200-strong group attended wearing bright colours to show their support, and Heart and Soul Cafe helped out with coffees.
About 50 or 60 members meet up in Mount Evelyn once a month, but there are smaller interactions daily.
“When the game first came out you could play it by yourself,” Mr Martin said.
“Now there are certain parts you need to partner up for.
“You can’t message each other through the game, so I started a messenger group.”
The group runs raffles and prize giveaways, and one member with a 3D printer makes trophies and badges.
The youngest player is about eight years old and the oldest is 65-plus.
“There’s people from all walks of life,” Mr Martin said.
Visit www.doitforcancer.com.au/fundraisers/martindavid to donate.