UPDATE 30 August 2017 2pm: Two days after the shock death of ironman champion Dean Mercer, his friends and former competition rivals will gather at his local surf club to remember the ‘champion bloke’.
Kurrawa Surf Club will tonight host an informal memorial to celebrate his life.
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It comes as a fundraising campaign for his widow, Reen, and four young sons – aged six to 13 – continues to grow.
Kurrawa Surf Life Saving Club is deeply saddened by the loss of Dean Mercer, a beloved individual and integral figure around the Club. pic.twitter.com/TrjVMdFxfL
— Kurrawa Surf Club (@KurrawaSurf) August 30, 2017
The GoFundMe page has a target of $100,000 to “help support the family with interim financial arrangements” and has almost reached $20,000 since being created on Tuesday afternoon.
Meantime the hashtag ‘put your cap out’ has gone viral, with members of the surf life saving community honouring Mr Mercer by hanging their caps on the front door of their home or surf club, or taking photos of them and posting it to social media.
Plans for Mercer’s funeral or official memorial service are yet to be finalised. It’s not known if it will be held on the Gold Coast or in his home town of Thirroul, south of Sydney.