WHALES: Donation Day for the Byron Bay Winter Whales.
WHALES: Donation Day for the Byron Bay Winter Whales. Christian Morrow

Whales splash out $50,000 on community groups

ONE of Byron Shire’s most important community events took place last Sunday on the deck of the Byron Bay Surf Lifesaving Club with the Byron Bay Whales distributing about $50,000 to local community groups.

The money was raised in May at the Byron Bay Property Sales Ocean Swim Classic and Ky Hurst Mini Swim which the Whales organise and run with the help of community groups.

“The $50k brings the total donated to local charities to $770,000 over the event’s 29-year history,” president Peter Kendall said.

“It was a great effort from just under 1000 swimmers that competed at this classic.

“We are now looking forward to our 30th swim next year and I believe we will crack the million over the next five years.”

With the Ky Hurst naming agreement ending this year, Mr Kendall said there was now an opportunity for a local business to take up naming rights for the 1km beach swim.

“It’s a great opportunity for a local business to be a part of one of Byron’s most popular and widely recognised community events just in time for the 30th anniversary next year,” he said.

The donation day was also a great opportunity for volunteers to talk about their organisation’s work.

Beneficiaries included groups such as the Brunswick Heads branch of the Marine Rescue NSW.

Unit Commander Andrea Danvers said the money would be used to update the group’s computer systems and that volunteers were always welcome in the service.

Helen Buckley from the Byron Swimming Club took the opportunity to speak in favour of the Byron Bay swimming pool staying where it was, “and to be redeveloped to be a real asset to the community.”

Captain of the Byron Bay Bushfire Brigade Gregg Miller thanked the Whales for the funding boost.

“We are a voluntary organisations and we very much appreciate the support,” he said.

“Last year my brigade did 75 call-outs putting in 1180 volunteer hours for the local community.”


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