As of Wednesday, the Wairarapa Shear4U fundraiser has made an impressive $70,000.
Last weekend four shearers, Dan Billing, Will Billing, Mark Buick and Nick Balfour, flanked by a series of invited shearers, shore their way through sheep at the Spring Valley woolshed.
They shore over a 32 hour period (24 hours of shearing) in a mammoth effort aiming to raise awareness for mental health and general well-being of Kiwis up and down the country.
The Rural Support Trust Wairarapa wrote on their Facebook Page following the event, "An event such as this one can be used as an analogy for someone on their own mental health journey, or an individual or community that have experienced an adverse event.
"These four men started out with great optimism/energy, steadily going through the paces. Then as fatigue took its toll, all at various times went to that potentially dark low-ebb state, where self-doubt creeps in, making them wonder if the light at the other end will ever come, questioning if they are going to make it through. But then the unrelenting support from each other, family, friends and expert input all offering bite-sized essential fuel, small gestures and more importantly the message that “we back you, you’ve got this.”
"This support (and also a large individual dose of pure grit and willpower) saw them pull themselves towards the light to reach the finish line. So many people there were caught by surprise just how emotional those final minutes were."
The Rural Support Trust described it as an act of superhuman endurance by the four shearers Dan Billing, Will Billing, Mark Buick and Nick Balfour. Especially in one of the hottest weeks of summer.
Donations are still open through a Givealittle page here.