All dressed up to go to Oz

wizard of oz DOROTHY REP SMH''DOROTHY fundraisers prepare to set off (L-R) Lion Simon Nicholson, Scarecrow John Adams, Tinman Alf Rodway, Dorothy Simon Gilgallon' 'From: SIMON GILGALLON [mailto:simongilgallon@yahoo.com]
wizard of oz DOROTHY REP SMH''DOROTHY fundraisers prepare to set off (L-R) Lion Simon Nicholson, Scarecrow John Adams, Tinman Alf Rodway, Dorothy Simon Gilgallon' 'From: SIMON GILGALLON [mailto:simongilgallon@yahoo.com]
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THEY may not have a yellow brick road to follow, but these four fundraisers don’t mind as they get dressed up as Wizard of Oz characters – to go and watch the rugby.

Simon Gilgallon, Simon Nicholson, Alf Rodway, all from Titchfield, and John Adams, from Stubbington, will wear the outfits on their way to watch the Barbarians take on Australia in Twickenham, London, in a bid to raise cash for Cancer Research.

The group managed to get free tickets for Gosport Ferry to Portsmouth and the train fare to Twickenham and will collect donations along the way on top of sponsors already received.

The fundraisers will be waved off on their yellow brick journey on Saturday by the Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Christopher Carter.

Simon Gilgallon, 46, of Belfry Walk, Titchfield, who will be Dorothy, said: ‘I had the idea as I was watching the Wizard of Oz with my daughter.

‘I suddenly realised that all the things that Dorothy comes across, like the lion’s courage and the tin man’s heart, are the things you need to deal with cancer. My dad was diagnosed with mouth cancer around three years ago and I felt helpless when it happened.

‘It was the doctors and nurses that were doing all the work and there was nothing I could do.

‘By doing this I feel like I’m able to give something back to them for everything they did for him.’

Hoping to raise as much as possible for the charity, Simon roped in a few of his old friends that he used to play football with in the pub Sunday league on Titchfield Common.

The lads did not disappoint with their costumes and enthusiasm, and even helped Simon make a pair of red shoes out of slippers, sequins and an abundance of glitter.

John, 48, of Carisbrooke Avenue, Stubbington, who will be the Scarecrow, said: ‘I’m looking forward to it. I just have to act like I don’t have a brain which should be a lot of fun. And it’s all for a really good cause. Cancer effects so many people – everyone knows someone who has been touched by it.

‘The really scary thing is that you don’t have to smoke 60 fags a day or be really unhealthy to get it. It can hit anyone at any point in their life, so the more we can do to help research into the disease, the better.’

The four will also take part in a pub quiz in their local pub, the Sir Joseph Paxton in Titchfield, to drum up support and boost donations ahead of their challenge.