Tragic Erin inspires superhero theme for charity dip

Erin Bonar.  INCT 50-721-CON
Erin Bonar. INCT 50-721-CON

A Whitehead schoolgirl who helped to give four others the gift of life will be remembered during a fundraiser next month.

The New Year’s Day dip takes place annually in aid of the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

And next month, the swim will merge with a similar event at Brown’s Bay in memory of Erin Bonar.

A pupil of Whitehead Primary School, the five-year-old passed away suddenly, earlier this year.

Erin’s mum Susan said: “Erin loved to help others and enjoyed taking part in fund raising activities for the NI Children’s Hospice along with her childminder Maria Jones.

“She enthusiastically took part in Operation Purple during the Whitehead Festival and was always there to cheer the Whitehead dippers on at their New Year’s Day dip.

“Erin was full of fun, beautiful and very brave; when she sadly passed away after a sudden illness, she saved the lives of three small children and a man in his forties through the amazing gift of organ donation.

“This was a choice she made herself and told us about a few months before she fell ill, should anything ever happen to her.

“Erin was amazing, a real superhero, which has inspired the theme for this New Year’s Day dip.

“We hope that as many people as possible dress up, take the plunge and raise much needed funds for the Children’s Hospice in her memory.”

The New Year’s Day dip in Whitehead normally takes place at County Antrim Yacht Club.

Following the relocated event at Brown’s Bay, participants will be invited back to the club for refreshments and a raffle, said organiser Maria Jones.

Meanwhile, the organisers of the original event at Brown’s Bay will continue to raise funds for their chosen charity, Marie Curie Cancer Care.

“Both groups have close connections with the Bonar family and we want to remind them that both they and Erin are still deeply in our thoughts,” Maria added.

Anyone who is interested in taking part in the fund raiser should contact Maria on 028 9337 8987 or visit the Facebook event page, ‘Whitehead New Year’s Day Dip for Northern Ireland Kid’s Hospice.’