Northern Region Lifeguard of the Year Lauren Gibbs has an
important role to play helping to light up Auckland Domain for Surf
Life Saving on Saturday night at Coca-Cola Christmas in the
The Bethells Beach Surf Life Saving Club member and her son Aydon (6) will have the special task of counting down to the fireworks - the most anticipated moment of the night.
Lauren says it's a great honour to be given such an important job. "I'm proud to be representing Surf Life Saving in such an amazing way," she says.
Lauren knows first-hand the importance of raising money to keep Surf Lifeguards on the beach. One of her most recent rescues is also one of her most memorable ones.
It was at the end of a long patrolling day and a young boy was boogie boarding in the flagged area when he was swiftly pulled into a hole. Lauren swam out to him and he reached out for her. She passed him her tube and then stayed with him as the IRB came to collect them.
"It was very memorable for me because I clearly remember his look of fear and at the same time relief when I reached him. But not only that- when we returned to shore I assisted him from the beach to his parents to ensure he was monitored for shock and it turned out his family were back in the reserve having a picnic and didn't even notice he was missing. One of our main rules is always watch over your children," she says.
As well as being on patrol Lauren is a chief Instructor and also acts as a mentor for Patrol Captains. Among other duties she is a Beach Education Instructor and is now also training to be able to complete helicopter rescues from a static line into the sea.
During the concert Lauren and Aydon will join local club members and Lifeguards who will be out in force selling the ever popular luminous glow sticks, glow glasses and Santa hats to raise funds for the charity keeping communities safe at the beach over summer.
Concert goers will have the opportunity to wave their light sticks in the lead up to the magical moment of lighting the Christmas tree when Earth Song is performed in the second half of the show.
Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park at Auckland Domain on Saturday will be the big finale to Surf Life Saving's National Appeal which runs from December 2-8.
If you can't get along to Christmas in the Park there are lots of other ways to show your support throughout the appeal: