Barney Miller motored up to Cabarita on Wednesday to meet Sam Ford and outline the fundraising activities planned during the Barney Miller Classic.
Barney Miller motored up to Cabarita on Wednesday to meet Sam Ford and outline the fundraising activities planned during the Barney Miller Classic. Donna Wilson

Surfing benefit for Sam Ford

MANY people questioned the wisdom of the selection panel when outspoken mining magnate, Clive Palmer, was named as a one of the 2012 National Living Treasures.

No mention of Barney Miller or Joel Bath though. Both men are fair dinkum treasures!

Barney Miller? Joel Bath?

Barney Miller was 19-years-old, a promising surfer and budding Sawtell businessman when he life was turned upside down when he was left a quadriplegic following a tragic car accident.

Joel Bath was a close friend who rallied the local community to raise money to help Barney fund his treatment and rehabilitation by organising the Barney Miller Classic.

Since 2003, all proceeds from the now annual surfing event have been directed by Barney to a deserving charity or organisation.

The 13th Barney Miller Classic will be held this weekend in Sawtell and all proceeds from a variety of fundraising ventures will be directed to Cabarita's Sam Ford.

Sam Ford, like Miller, was a highly promising young surfer who was brutally bashed and left for dead two years ago in the main street of Coolangatta.

"A friend of mine worked with Sam's uncle in Townsville and after telling me the tragic story of Sam becoming totally dependent on others to live any sort of life," Mr Miller said.

"I knew straight away that he would be a perfect recipient for this year's classic."

The weekend kicks off tonight (Friday) with an auction of surfboard and surfing memorabilia and gear at the Sawtell Hotel followed by the Barney Miller Classic at Sawtell beach tomorrow and Sunday.

Also aiding and abetting Barney Miller in his fundraising efforts are two local Cabarita men, Mike Norman and Darren Groves, who jumped on bikes at 5am this morning to pedal the 325km to Sawtell.

You can sponsor these two terrific blokes and make their journey worthwhile by donating to: M J Ford Trustee for Samuel John Ford - BSB: 802 185. Account No: 136 997.



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