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From scrap to Cancer Society cash

DARYL Gowers dedicates his life to raising money for others. Since he returned home to Gisborne last August, Mr Gowers has raised almost $7000 for the Gisborne East Coast Cancer Society, and says it is largely thanks to a generous community.

The 51-year-old picks up old whiteware and appliances, strips the wires and motors out to sell them and onsells scrap metal as well. It is lucrative, with every cent going towards helping Gisborne people who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Mr Gowers advertises for the old appliances and scrap metal over Facebook, and said he has had an incredible response.

He charges $15 for the first pick up, then $10 after that. He does all the pick-ups, delivers the scrap metal as far away as Napier and Whakatane and spends hours every day working with the old appliances and scrap metal to get the best value out of them.

His volunteer work has become the equivalent of a full-time job.

Mr Gowers is one of seven children who grew up here. It was the cancer diagnosis of his older sister that sparked his involvement to raise money and help others fighting with the disease.

Gisborne is known as one of the most generous communities in the country, consistently giving more per capita to the Cancer Society than anywhere else in New Zealand.

Volunteer co-ordinator Janine Hamilton-Kells said they were very lucky to have Daryl’s support.

“He has quickly become a valued member of the team, with staff and volunteers enjoying his sense of humour and his can-do attitude. His fundraising contributes a much-needed funding stream to our local centre.

“The service he provides also helps the community environmentally with less whiteware deteriorating in backyards and being dumped illegally at the beach and other dump sites.”

Trash into cash: Daryl Gowers has fundraised more than $14,000 for Gisborne East Coast Cancer Society, and recycled a whole heap of old whiteware items at the same time. File picture