Big Splash $10,000 just a beginning

THE Albury-Wodonga Big Splash fund-raiser was so successful organisers have vowed to run it every year.

More than $10,000 was raised at the Albury Swim Centre when 90 teams from Border organisations competed in relay races before a crowd of about 700 last week.

Organiser Stephen Mamouney, of the Albury Tigers Water Polo Club, said about $6000 would go to Albury-Wodonga’s headspace and about $1000 to the local Survivors of Suicide group. About $3000 would go to next year’s event.

“The committee were overwhelmed by the support they received from the Albury-Wodonga community,” Mr Mamouney said.

“Everybody had a great time taking part in the relays, dressing up in costumes and coming along with big smiles on their faces.”

Fellow organiser Annette Baker agreed she wanted it to be a fun night.

The event was in memory of her daughter Mary Baker, 15, who took her life in 2011, and Mrs Baker said the fund-raiser generated a groundswell of solidarity.

People with mental illnesses and those who know those who suffered approached Mrs Baker before, at and after the event just to tell her that they, too, understood.

Mrs Baker said it validated her and her family’s decision to become the public face of The Border Mail’s, and now the community’s, campaign for awareness and a headspace centre.

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