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Devastated parents turn tragedy into hope

MAGICAL TRIBUTE: Michelle, Steve and Elaina Underhill in the fairy garden they have built in memory of their daughter and sister, Elle.
MAGICAL TRIBUTE: Michelle, Steve and Elaina Underhill in the fairy garden they have built in memory of their daughter and sister, Elle. Samantha Elley

WITHOUT the Westpac Surf Life Saver Rescue Helicopter three-year-old Elaina Underhill would not be alive today, according to her mother Michelle Underhill.

The little girl and her sister Elle, 4 were involved in a serious car crash last December where she was taken by the helicopter to Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane.

Her sister, sadly, didn't survive.

With Elle's 5th birthday coming up on Thursday, November 24 the Underhill family have taken the step to say "thank you" to the helicopter by hosting a fundraising dinner on the Friday, November 25 at the Casino RSM Club.

"We can't express enough gratitude for what people did for us that day," Ms Underhill said.

Purple was Elle's favourite colour and Ms Underhill has asked that on the little girl's birthday, people wear purple to celebrate her.

"I couldn't let it go past without doing something," she said.

"To me a fifth birthday is special and Elle even had her birthday cake picked out.

Ms Underhill said she hopes to raise enough money to cover the cost of a rescue flight.

"I don't want another family sitting around a dinner table with a person missing," she said.

"I don't want them to go through what we are going through."

The community and businesses have rallied by donating prizes and cash and Ms Underhill hopes to raise $10,000.

"That probably doesn't even cover one flight, but we hope to get at least 150 people at the dinner," she said.

Tickets are $80 for a three course meal and guest speaker will be football legend, John Peard.

Local band Mossy Rocks will also be playing.

Tickets on sale at the Casino RSM Club. To donate go to http://www.onangelwings.com.au/index.php/ donate.

Topics:  editors picks elle underhill fatal crash fundraiser westpac life saver rescue helicopter



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