AWARENESS: Eric, Shanan, Alby and Melinda Studt support Day for Daniel.
AWARENESS: Eric, Shanan, Alby and Melinda Studt support Day for Daniel. Aden Stokes

Big bucks from a little fella

ONE BLACKWATER boy has gone above and beyond in his support for Day for Daniel.

Blackwater North State School Prep A pupil Eric Studt raised an outstanding $1062.

Eric, who turns six this month and wants to be firefighter, said he just wanted to help keep kids safe so they didn't get taken by a "bad person”.

"Mr and Mrs Morcombe came to the school to talk about Daniel's story and safety,” he said.

"They told us not to go off by ourselves because you don't know if you will run into a bad guy, who might pretend to be a good guy but is not.”

Eric said he would never go off by himself or talk to strangers and would tell his friends not to either.

"It's important to stay with mum and dad and stay where they can see you,” he said.

With running being one of his favourite things to do, Eric was over the moon when asked to be the line leader and kick-start the fun run.

"I was very excited and proud,” he said.

"All the kids had to follow me and I had a balloon tied around my wrist.”

Eric's mum, Melinda, said the whole family had fun raising money for Day for Daniel.

"We shared it on Facebook and we called up a lot of the family to see whether they would sponsor,” she said.

"A lot of our friends who don't have kids at school didn't have to get involved and help but they chose to because kids are the future. One of them donated $130 and another donated $100.

"We were so chuffed they did that. Even Eric's brother, Alby, offered to get his piggy bank out and donate all his money. He said he was going to give a trillion dollars but we counted $30 in his piggy bank, so we said 'that will do'.

"We just can't believe he raised over $1000. It's incredible.”

Mrs Studt said after people donated Eric would either phone them and say thank you or record a video message and send it to them through Messenger.

"He personally thanked everyone,” she said.

With about 420 students participating in the Day for Daniel Fun Run, Blackwater North Primary School was the second-highest fundraiser for the event, raising $14,131.76.

The local school was just beaten by Tambourine Mountain College, which raised $17,353.41.

The highest individual fundraiser raised $1666.73.

Eric's dad, Shanan, said he couldn't be more proud with how the community of Blackwater came together to help this cause.

"Blackwater is a good little community,” he said.

"In a time where people are struggling with money, a lot of people who donated to Eric had no affiliation with the mines.

"Blackwater North State School raising more than $14,000 was a fantastic achievement.”

Blackwater North State School principal Karryn Brunetto said the school was "extremely proud” of Eric in his fundraising efforts.

"It was a tremendous effort on Eric and his family's behalf to demonstrate such an awareness of an important program such as the Day for Daniel Fun Run by fundraising this amount of money,” she said.

"The enormity of not only Eric's success but our success overall truly recognises our community spirit to support a cause that ensures the safety of our students and children in our wider community.

"Even though Blackwater itself is a rural town, our community demonstrates strong bonds over important events. I am proud to be the principal of Blackwater North State School.”

Daniel Morcombe Foundation chief executive Holly Brennan said the foundation was extremely proud of Eric.

"We are extremely proud of Eric for raising over $1000 to help spread child safety messages and to keep kids safe in not only his community but across Australia,” she said.

"We are also impressed with the efforts of Blackwater North State School. We hope they take on the challenge again next year and spread the word to other schools about their fundraising success.

"We are truly honoured to have individuals and communities such as Blackwater support the foundation in such a way.

"Keeping kids safe is everybody's business and support like this really reinforces that message.”

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