Ironman legend Trevor Hendy has called on Queenslanders to dig deep and donate when surf lifesavers come knocking this weekend.
Thousands of lifesavers across the state will take to the streets across the next two weekends to door-knock and raise money for the 2014 Surf Safe Appeal, and four-time World Champion Hendy said it was a great opportunity for Queenslanders to say thank you.
“There’s nothing more Australian than heading down the beach with family and friends over summer and, when you do, it’s always reassuring to know that trained lifesavers are there to watch over and protect you,” Hendy said.
“But it’s easy to forget that lifesavers are actually volunteers who give up their weekends and spend countless hours away from family and friends over the summer months to make sure that we can enjoy our beautiful beaches safely.
“Now it’s our turn to help them, and the Surf Safe Appeal is a great opportunity to not only show our appreciation and thanks for their efforts, but also ensure they have the funds required to continue their crucial community service for many years to come,” he said.
Now in its 11th year, the Surf Safe Appeal is one of Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) largest annual fundraising initiatives, with all money raised going straight back into protecting beachgoers across the state.
SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan said the Appeal was vital to ensure surf lifesavers were provided with the equipment and training necessary to patrol Queensland beaches.
“As a charity organisation, SLSQ relies heavily on the support and generosity of our partners and members of the community,” Mr Brennan said.
“Last year alone, volunteer lifesavers rescued more than 2,000 people from the surf, which is a testament to their dedication and training. It’s scary to think what might have happened had trained lifesavers not been on-hand to assist in those situations.
“The Surf Safe Appeal is an avenue for SLSQ to highlight the services we provide to the community, while also giving Queenslanders a chance to show their appreciation for the efforts of volunteer surf lifesavers across the state,” he said.
Mr Brennan said all funds raised during the Appeal will be used to help clubs maintain and purchase vital rescue gear and equipment, as well as enhance the development and training of their lifesavers.
“SLSQ’s vision is ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters’ and donating to the Surf Safe Appeal is one way that everyone can contribute to achieving this vision,” he said.
“Every year surf lifesavers collectively give up more than 300,000 hours of their own time to patrol Queensland
beaches, and now they’re asking for a helping hand of their own,” he said.
Surf lifesavers will be fundraising for the Surf Safe Appeal from Monday 1 September to Sunday 14 September. Donations can be made by calling 1800 642 925 or online at www.surfsafeappeal.com.au.