Surf clubs donate to Sherry kids

WHILE hundreds of young surf lifesavers enjoyed a day at Lennox Head beach yesterday, donations poured in from their parents to assist three children not nearly as fortunate.

The Far North Coast life saving community dug deep at yesterday’s branch championships for Monique, Elise and Nicholas Sherry, the three Sydney children who lost their parents in a tragic accident at South Ballina Beach on January 19.

Joe and Carole Sherry drowned saving Elise and Nicholas from a rip as Monique looked on from the sand.

In an effort to help the Sherry children try to rebuild their lives, members from the Byron Bay and Lennox Head-Alstonville surf life saving clubs decided that yesterday would be about more than just a surf carnival by collecting donations during the closing day of competition.

Jo Kay, from the Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club, said the seven other clubs competing on the weekend alongside Byron and Lennox Head wasted little time getting behind the fundraising effort.

“Every club has been very generous,” she said.

“It’s been a fantastic response. We’ll collate the money and send it off. Every cent.”

Mrs Kay said it was difficult not to be moved by the deaths of Joe and Carole Sherry and the impact it would have on their children.

“It really hits home for those of us who have families,” she said.

“To see something like that happen, obviously everyone was struck pretty deeply. If we can give something to them to make it a little easier, that’s what it’s all about.”

As the donations rolled in yesterday, the water safety message was also at the front of many parents’ minds.

“It makes us appreciate what kids learn in the organisations we’re involved in,” Mrs Kay said.

It was a message even the Far North Coast’s best lifesavers paid attention to yesterday, with rough surf sending many events to Lake Ainsworth.

“Lots of these kids are fantastic swimmers, but they’re not going into the surf,” Mrs Kay said.

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