Families “put the heart into Hartlepool” as hundreds turned out to support brave Bradley Lowery.
A fundraiser was held on the seafront at Seaton Carew, with children and adults dipping into the sea before releasing yellow balloons to raise cash for the young cancer victim.
The balloons had all been sold at a cost of £5 each, while people also paid £1 to sign a banner of support for Bradley, who is battling neuroblastoma.
Family and friends of the five-year-old, from Blackhall, having been raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for Bradley to receive life-saving treatment in the USA.
Organisers of today’s event at Seaton Carew – which also included fun and games for all the family – hope it will top the fund up by more than £2,000.
Stephen Picton, who organised the event alongside Tony Mann, said: “I’ve never seen anything like it at Seaton Carew and I don’t think I will again for a long time.
They should change the spelling of the town to HeartlepoolStephen Picton
“It was a fantastic turnout, as there always is for things like this, because Hartlepool comes together.
“They should change the spelling of the town to Heartlepool, because that’s what it is.
“People like this put the heart into Hartlepool.”
Mr Mann added: “We started setting up at 6.20am and there was lots going on all day.
“It was a great turnout, and fantastic to see how many people came out to support Bradley.
“Hartlepool is always the same. There is a great community spirit and people come together.
“It made me so proud to see how many people had come along.”
Families from across the town and beyond attended, including Mark Hanlon, from Hartlepool.
He was there with members of his family including wife Cheryll Hanlon, and children Thomas, 13, and Sam, 11.
Mr Hanlon said: “It was excellent.
“It was for Bradley, whose story has touched so many, and the turnout showed how many people are behind him.
“He needs all the help he can get, so coming along and making some donations is the least we could do.”
The release of the balloons was started by the Mayor of Hartlepool, Coun Rob Cook.
Bradley was initially diagnosed with the cancer in 2013, and after he was declared as being in remission last year, sadly it returned.