SUNDERLAND’S Boxing Day dippers are being urged to get their charity collections to organisers as soon as possible.
Sunderland Lions Club organises the event each year and takes a small cut of all proceeds for its own good causes throughout the year.
The grand total is calculated and money redistributed to fund-raisers after the Lion’s annual Dip presentation evening, which this year is being held at The Chesters pub in Chester Road on March 18.
“We need all those who took part in the Boxing Day Dip to pay in their sponsorship money asap,” said Lions spokeswoman Anne Fielding.
“The presentation of trophies and cheques takes place at The Chesters on March 18 and all money should be paid in by then to enable the charities to receive their money.”
More than 700 people took part in this year’s event, while hundreds more crowded onto the promenade at Seaburn to watch, and around £56,000 in total has been pledged, which all needs to be submitted to the organisers.
Star Wars stormtroopers, video game characters Mario and Luigi, superheroes, Scottish warriors and even the Very Hungry Caterpillar were among the fancy dress costumes on view this year.
Awards for the best costumes on show at the beach will be handed out at this month’s presentation evening, along with others honouring the best individual and team fund-raising efforts.
Among those in the running for trophies will be Julie Reay, who will be marking her last dip after 12 years raising cash in memory of her 13-year-old son Peter Lane, who died in a ropeswing accident.
The dip has been a big part of the fund-raising efforts but now Julie has decided to call it a day, though other activities will continue.
Her final dip had been a mixed day, she admitted.
“It was absolutely amazing,” she said.
“Obviously it was very emotional, with it being the last one.”
Julie was hoping to raise £5,000, bringing the amount she has collected from 10 years of dips to more than £30,000.
“I am very proud of what we have achieved over the years and I want to say thank you to my team and everyone who has supported us,” she said.