For Michael Lewis, braving the shave is a tradition just shy of two decades. In that time, he's raised over $215,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation, averaging well over $10,000 each year.
"In 2001, a friend suggested I get involved with World's Greatest Shave due to my other work around kids with cancer... I told her that if she could find me $1,000 to donate by lunchtime, I'd do it!" Michael recalls.
By lunch, Michael was sitting on $3,000 – and the rest was history.
Over the years, Michael has kept to his word and formed a tradition of braving the shave in March. Since his first shave, he's managed to keep his events exciting, fresh and fun by taking on new challenges each time – whether it be shaving his eyebrows, arrmpits, beard... or dyeing his hair bright blue!
"For me, every donation is important. If someone's taken the time to donate, it means they're behind me and what we're trying to do,"
"Anybody who gives is encouraging others to give, too... Our job as people is to do as much as we can for others."
Year after year, Michael has continued to brave the shave in honour of all people facing blood cancers, and has a personal target of reaching $225,000 after his nineteenth shave in March 2021.
"I don't see the foundation as being a charity. I see it as being a family. I'll keep shaving my hair for the Leukaemia Foundation until it won't grow back any more!"
When asked what advice Michael might offer to first-time shavers taking on the challenge, Michael offered some tips and tricks to get the most out of your event.
"First, have fun with it! Set some great goals for your donors and even auction off your hair!"
"Secondly, make your donors feel good about donating to you and the cause. Make them feel involved as a community – you could do this by saying you're shaving on the behalf of your school, workplace or friend group."
"Lastly, buy a beanie! You don't realize how cold you get, once your hair's not there!" Also, the first dollar is always the hard one to get. I usually kick off my campaigns with my own donation, and then the rest is easy. If people don’t donate, I hassle them!"
Michael is currently gearing up to shave for the nineteenth time, with his shave date locked in for the 12th of March.