The seventh Big Splash mental health fundraiser has been launched, with thick smoke a reminder of the challenges the community will face recovering from bushfires in 2020.
Registrations are now open for the March 4 event that has so far raised more than $90,000 for headspace Albury-Wodonga and Survivors of Suicide and Friends.
Since the event was first held by the Albury Tigers Water Polo Club in 2014, raising $6000 towards the opening of a headspace, two-thirds of proceeds have gone to the centre.
Organising committee member Stephen Mamouney hoped to see another packed Albury Swim Centre, come the first Wednesday in March.
"It's an important event for the whole community and we're hoping that this year is going to be a welcome distraction from all the bushfires and smoke," he said.
"One of the main purposes of the event is to raise awareness for mental health, and in particular mental health of young people in our area."
A strategy to help young people manage their well-being during and after fires is being developed at a national level by headspace and will be enacted by the Albury-Wodonga centre.
Community development worker Bree Cross said supporting youth through fires was important, and Big Splash was a chance for people "to connect".
"Individuals and communities can be greatly affected by the events happening currently with the bushfires," she said.
"That can be triggered for a number of different reasons.
"We've seen the amount of support in terms of financial and food donations and the ways people are helping.
"In these times of emergency, it can be really good to focus on where we as communities are helping and look at how we get through these challenging times."
Mr Mamouney said eight race formats incorporating costumes and challenges would kick off from 5pm on March 4.
"We have some competitive and novelty events, and this year we're introducing a new format called the sombrero," he said.
"You have to wear a sombrero and pass it off to the team members and we're hoping that will provide some colour and movement."
Big Splash 2020 will be the second year Aligned Leisure has been involved.
Albury Wodonga Aquatic Facilities head of customer experience Amy Vernon said their first collaboration with the committee went well.
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"We sat down with Steve and he told us what he was after," she said.
"It ran really smoothly last year.
"It's so much fun and there's excitement in the air - it's awesome to be around."