Family raises money to support Orange Beach lifeguards

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WALA) – If you’ve been down to the sands of Orange Beach recently, you probably have seen a lifeguard or two walking the sands. Something you may not have taken a good look at is their uniform shirt with the words “Molly’s Patrol.”

“The partnership with the Bryant family has been tremendous because with their help, we’re able to get things that we’ve needed without having to go through the traditional means of purchasing it,” Melvin Shepard, Beach Safety supervisor for Orange Beach, said.

Molly Bryant drowned during a family vacation back in 2003 and in recent years her family has pooled their resources to help bolster the lifeguard system in Orange Beach.

“They’ve continued to donate money, their family and friends. It’s helped us buy additional equipment that we’ve needed and it’s helped put more people out on the beach,” Shepard said.

About a week ago, they started a new campaign to raise $4000 for two new defibrillators for the lifeguards.

“If we have somebody that’s in cardiac arrest we can defibrillate them faster, if that’s what they need, before the paramedics get here,” he said. “So it is very critical when it comes to life saving.”

Molly’s sister, Emily Freeman, is spearheading the campaign and said it’s not about raising money, but raising awareness.

“One person could’ve easily donated that money, but it’s more about getting the community involved. Not just the community, but the state. Where people across the state can share in this,” Freeman said.

They’ve already met more than half of their goal in just the last week. Far better than she expected.

“I’m excited about this campaign. I really had no expectations for it and I’ve been really blown away that so much has been given in less than a week,” Freeman said.

She said the more people who support the lifeguards, the better and safer our beaches will be for everyone. If you would like to donate to the GoFundMe effort.

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