STAWELL - Participating in Relay for Life will this year take on added importance for Molly O'Connor.
The 17 year old will first shave her head before taking part in the Cancer Council fundraiser in memory of her pop and in support of her mum.
"I've lost some of my family and many of them are strongly affected by the disease," Ms O'Connor said.
"This has inspired me and given me the motivation to do as much as I can to make a difference. I am excited, but also a little nervous.
"The Hammer and Gad have generously offered to have a big fundraiser day with raffles, auctions, a spinning wheel and sausage sizzle tea at their venue.
"There will be lots of cool prizes and your money will be going to a very good cause.
"Some of the prizes include a gym voucher, accommodation and beauty vouchers."
The event will take place on Sunday, February 24 from 2pm.
Molly said she had so far received support from not just Stawell but other towns as well.
"All the locals have been great, my family and friends, the team have been amazing, everyone is so supportive and they're all getting involved," she said.
"I hope to see lots of people at the Hammer and Gad, I think if we can all get together and get involved, then we can really make a difference."
There will be a barbecue during the afternoon before Molly loses her hair to hairdresser Shanae Moss who will have the honour of shaving it off.
"I'm a little bit nervous to shave my head after growing it for four years, but then I think about why I am doing it and it makes me excited," Ms O'Connor said.
"The money I raise will be going towards the people who aren't as lucky as me and don't have the choice of whether to lose their hair or not."
Molly said Brian Notting from the Hammer and Gad had been very proactive since hearing about her effort.
"He is full of ideas and motivation, with his help everything is coming together really nicely," she said.
Mr Notting said there are a lot of people who are struggling with illness and need a helping hand and it is good to see Molly playing her part.
"When she came in and asked to put a poster up, I thought why not give her a hand to help raise some money," he said.
"It is good to see these types of events going on around the community and people like Molly being a real driving force behind them.
"I really hope everyone comes along and enjoys the day, people can really help themselves by helping others."
A month after the shave Molly will join with her team for 'Relay for Life' in Melbourne.
Relay for Life is an annual event where participants take turns walking for a period of 24 hours.
"It is a really fun day out, people can dress up in costumes and while some of the team walk others will rest," she said.
Molly said the 23 strong team are already raising more money than they anticipated with the fundraising activities they have organised.
"We are already very close to our original goal of $2000, we're all so excited," she said.
Nan, Irene McCarthy said it had been a great effort so far.
"I am really proud of her effort, the amount of time she has put into organising fundraising has been really good," she said.
All of the proceeds from the Hammer and Gad event and any other donations will go to the Cancer Council's 'Relay for Life'.
Molly and her team 'Sterritts & friends' relay on March 23 at 4pm at Knox. To sponsor her, go to www.relayforlife.org.au, select 'sponsor a team or individual', 'participant search', location: Knox and look for Molly O'Connor.