In a record-breaking year, fairies, the faux-elderly and serious swimmers took to the pool to fundraise for mental health and support suicide prevention – a cause that has touched the lives of too many in Albury Wodonga.
Organiser Stephen Mamouney said each year the event seems to gain more and more traction, with a record 125 teams registered for the 2018 event.
Last year’s Big Splash provided funding for 296 additional counselling appointments at headspace Albury-Wodonga since June last year, said centre manager Karina Kerr.
Mr Mamouney, dressed as Fred Flintstone to complement his partner Alicia’s Wilma, said the comical afternoon and night of fun had a very serious message which resonated with the community.
“It’s great, we put on the event but its the community show up and support it,” he said.
“It’s fantastic to see so many children and families getting involved.”
Albury’s Claire Rae of Summit Performance attended with her daughters Freya, 6, and Isabelle, 9.
She joined the Big Splash to be a part of a community-wide conversation.
“Mental Health services are so important and it’s also important to talk about and to be aware of mental illnesses,” she said.
“It’s about awareness and starting that conversation as much as anything.”
After years of rivalries, Border media outlets dove into Big Splash to battle it out once and for all.
But Win News and ABC Goulburn Murray proved not all is ‘fair and balanced’ in love, war and news – using flippers in an attempt to edge out the competition.
However it was the 2AY Tornados who came out on top, followed by the Triple-Ms Wavy Animals, ABC All STARS and The Border Mail’s own Newspaper know-it-alls.
It was the third time swimming for Brightly-coloured Murray Childcare Centre educators Madeline Curnow and Megan MacGregor, both from Albury.
The children they work with inspired their tutus.
Madelaine Northey of the Albury Wodonga headspace Youth Reference Group said all money raised going towards themselves or the Survivors of Suicide.
“It’s our big fundraiser for the year so it’s good to see people get out and support it,” she said.