PHOTOS

Up to 2000 people gather before dawn at Cronulla for walk to support bushfire affected communities


More than 1500 people gathered before dawn on Sunday to walk from Cronulla Park to Elouera beach and back in a show of support for South Coast bushfire affected communities and volunteer firefighters.

The Walk From Darkness Into The Light, which started at 5am, not only raised about $24,000, it was also a very moving demonstration of one community's care for others.


"The way everyone turned up at 4.50am to stand together and support our neighbours on the South Coast was incredible," said Dan Wagstaff, one of the organisers.

"People were so generous and I think everyone there probably had some personal connection.

"The South Coast is a very common holiday place for people in the shire, and many would also have family down there."

Sutherland Shire councillor Carol Provan said, "It was just an amazing community event".

"We walked from Cronulla Park to Elouera beach along the sand, watched the sun rise and then walked back.

"The feeling in Cronulla Park was wonderful. There was music, money was being put into buckets and local cafes were handing out free sandwiches and pastries.'

HAM, Loaf, Bianchinis and Blackwoods Pantry cafes were among those who supported the event.

HAM also co-ordinated and promoted a GoFundMe page .

Principal organisers of the event were Taren Point gym operators Dan Wagstaff (Mind, Body Athletic) and Adam Goode (Rhino Health and Fitness) and Samantha Dorahy, of In Balance Wellness Studio at Caringbah.

They approached Sutherland Shire mayor Carmelo Pesce, who enthusiastically supported it.

Mr Wagstaff said they got the idea from friends who were planning something similar at Bronte.

"We estimate between 1500 and 2000 people attended," he said.

Mr Wagstaff said about $15,000 was donated in cash and further funds were raised from businesses including the GoFundMe page.

"Collectively, we think we will end up with about $23,000 to $24,000.

"The Rural Fire Service will receive the donations from the GoFundMe page, but we have yet to decide on the cash.

"We think we want to take it directly in some way to affected families."