Zombies raise money for mental health centre

ZOMBIE WALK: Kylie Bamford and Sharmaine Fogarty are excited to scare the city this week when they creep through the streets during the eighth annual Mount Gambier Zombie Walk. Picture: TODD LEWIS

GORY zombies are ready to hit the streets on Saturday evening for the city’s eighth annual Mount Gambier Zombie Walk, which has already raised more than $1200 for the South East Junction.

With scary make-up and creative costumes, close to 80 zombies are expected to meet at Vansittart Park before they begin creeping their way to the Cave Gardens at 7pm.

The walk is in line with other events worldwide and will this year raise money for The South East Junction, which assists people battling mental illness.

Zombie Walk organiser Kylie Bamford said each year the group looks to fundraise for a different community organisation and they identified The South East Junction Mental Health Activity and Resource Centre as a worthy recipient.

“I hold mental illness very close to my heart as I have lost family members and friends this year, so I feel like it is something that needs to be promoted,” Ms Bamford said.

“People need to know that it is okay to talk to others and there are services like the South East Junction who are ready to help and assist.”

South East Junction coordinator Nel Jans said she was blown away by the generous offer from Ms Bamford to raise money for their organisation.

“When I was approached by Ms Bamford last year, I had never heard of the Zombie Walk, so it was completely out of the blue, but obviously the support is much appreciated,” Ms Jans said.

“We totally rely on donations, fundraising and grants and every little bit does help and to hear they have already raised $1200 is amazing.”

The fundraising has not stopped yet, with a raffle to be held on Saturday and each zombie expected to bring a gold coin donation for the event.

“We have already done a couple of barbecues and movie nights, but we are expecting to make some more money this weekend,” Ms Bamford said.

Best dressed prizes, zombie face painting and free lolly bags will also be on offer at the Cave Gardens following the walk.

When asked what makes the “scariest” zombie, Ms Bamford said people need to try and emulate a “fresh look”.

“It can get a bit sticky, but I use red food dye and chocolate sauce to make the blood look realistic and I encourage others to do the same,” she said.

“I also urge people to visit op-shops to find costumes and then gore them up a bit for the event.”

However, if you are not keen to dress up, the group welcomes the public to watch the walk and join in with celebrations later in the night.

The group will be holding an after-party for people aged 18 and above at the Shadows Entertainment Complex.

WORTHY CAUSE: Zombie’s Sharmaine Forgarty and Kylie Bamford have assisted in raising money for the South East Junction, with representatives Bronnie Leibhardt and Nel Hans helping support people battling mental illness. Pictures: TODD LEWIS

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