Donate, please.

No gags. No jokes. Surf safety is serious business. Asking for money is never sexy (unless your name is Benny Hinn when you absolutely think you are it is). When the two collide, it’s something well worth supporting.

Bravo to Channel 9 Brisbane for getting behind such a worthy cause every year and promoting both surf safety and the fine work our volunteer lifesavers do each weekend during summer. Lifesavers put in a lot of personal effort and sacrifice time to ensure they have the appropriate skills to read the ocean, build people control skills, and be fit enough to be running into the surf when pretty much everyone else is running out.

It can be dangerous and thankless work – so make sure you do your part and dig deep before you spend all your money on presents this Christmas and donate. It will make the world of difference and will help save a life for sure. From the press release:

From Friday 3 December Channel Nine and Surf Life Saving Queensland call on Queenslanders to show their appreciation for our red and yellow guardians of the sea, by pledging their support for the 2010 Channel Nine Surf Safe Appeal.

Marking the first weekend of summer, the Channel Nine Surf Safe Appeal aims to increase awareness of Surf Life Saving Queensland’s work, whilst also raising much needed funds to purchase rescue equipment. Now in its seventh year the appeal has raised over 5 million dollars.

The 2010 appeal will be launched after A Current Affair at 7.00pm on Friday 3 December and will continue with a series of hourly updates until its close at 10.30pm on Sunday 5 December.

From the Channel Nine tally room at Mt Coot-tha, to surf clubs up and down the south east Queensland coast Channel Nine personalities, sporting stars, and surf life savers will be calling on viewers to pledge donations by phoning the 24 hour hotline on 1800 642 925.

The 2009 Appeal raised a record $741,513, almost $100,000 more than in 2008.

Over the 2009/2010 season, Surf Life Saving Queensland lifesaving services have performed 329,049 volunteer patrol hours, conducted 3,906 rescues and treated more than 20,000 patients in first aid and marine stings.

Ongoing funding is essential to ensure the appropriate equipment and resources are available to maintain core lifesaving services. Ultimately, the Channel Nine Surf Safe Appeal is working towards Surf Life Saving Queensland’s vision of zero preventable deaths and injuries on Queensland beaches.

Nine Brisbane’s Program Manager, Di Fitzgerald, says Channel Nine is immensely proud to be associated with the annual Surf Safe Appeal.

“All of us at Channel Nine look forward to the annual Surf Safe Appeal. It is an opportunity for all Queenslanders to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of the many volunteers and Surf Life Saving clubs throughout our state. Each year we continue to be amazed by the generosity of Queensland viewers who, like Channel Nine, proudly support the work of Surf Life Saving Queensland.”

Surf Life Saving Foundation’s Executive Director, Mr Steve Francia, commended Channel Nine for its commitment to saving lives.

“As a charity organisation, SLSQ relies heavily on the support of the community and our corporate partners, such as Channel Nine, to ensure we can continue to deliver the highest level of beach safety,” Mr Francia said.

“We realise times are tough for many Queenslanders, but any donation – no matter how small – can really go a long way in saving lives on our beaches.”

Mr Francia said that all funds raised through the Appeal will be reinvested back into lifesaving services in Queensland.

“To effectively set up a beach patrol, a Surf Life Saving Club must be provided with more than $60,000 worth of equipment, including inflatable rescue boats, surf rescue boards, rescue tubes and defibrillators,” he said.

“Along with the cost associated in establishing a beach patrol, it costs $10,000 a year to maintain an active patrol and $850 to train a young lifesaver.”

“By donating, the community is effectively ensuring our volunteers have the right tools and training to do their job, which is to save lives.”

If it raises one million dollars this year, I’m personally taking credit.


CHANNEL NINE SURF SAFE APPEAL – Mon 29/11 to Sun 5/12, QTQ9 Brisbane.