BAR staff and regulars have been making a big splash to help out a six-year-old now taking her first steps after undergoing surgery.
Workers at the Last Orders pub in Monkseaton took part in a sponsored swim across Cullercoats Bay for the HelpLily2StLouis fund and, after collecting all their sponsorship money, have now raised £1,495.
The charity was set up earlier this year to collect the £50,000 needed to send cerebral palsy sufferer Lily Gordon to St Louis to have pioneering surgery to give her a chance of being able to walk unaided.
Lily underwent a selective dorsal rhizotomy in August, and is now back home in Preston Grange, North Shields, and having regular physiotherapy sessions to help her stand on her own two feet, as reported in last week’s News Guardian.
Any extra money, including that raised by the Cullercoats sponsored swim, will now be spent on therapy for Lily, a pupil at Monkseaton’s Star of the Sea RC Primary School.
Pub manager Paul Skinner, one of those who took part in the fancy-dress fundraiser, said: “The epic swim was done on the worst day of the summer, but as we were getting wet anyway, what was a bit of rain?
“The swim itself was between the piers at Cullercoats. Yes, we know it was a big challenge, but we did it.
“A special thanks to Cullercoats lifeboat for standing by on the day and everyone who did the swim. We did Lily proud.
“Thanks to everyone who sponsored us as well. The money now goes to help with her ongoing treatment.”
Lily’s mum Joanne added: “A massive thank you to Davy Johnson and Paul Skinner for organising the swim for Lily, and to all those crazy people from the Last Orders pub in Whitley Bay who took part on a cold Saturday afternoon in the pouring rain.
“It was a mad event, with some crazy participants, but it was a fantastic amount they raised.”