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Marilyn Monroe look-alikes gather at Brighton beach to pay homage to Hollywood star, raise money for cancer research

19:18, Sunday, 06 February, 2022
Marilyn Monroe look-alikes gather at Brighton beach to pay homage to Hollywood star, raise money for cancer research

During her life, Marilyn Monroe was no stranger to a front page splash, routinely appearing on the cover of magazines such as as Time, Life and Vogue.

Almost 60 years after her death, a coterie of the Hollywood star's most passionate fans have congregated for a splash of a different kind.

Wearing their idol's signature white swimsuit and sunglasses, 314 people gathered at Adelaide's Brighton beach this morning, setting a new record for the annual Marilyn Jetty Swim.

The event raises money for cancer research and is now in its ninth year.

"It's absolutely glorious being in the water and being part of it and … just watching this sea of beauty as you float around," Cancer Council SA CEO Kerry Rowlands said.

One Marilyn, who by her own admission is not a seasoned swimmer, joked that she was apprehensive about getting her feet wet, but was prepared to brave the chilly water.

"I expect to be picked up by a really nice lifesaver, girl or boy, and be brought in at the end," Bettina Melick said.

Another Marilyn said she had travelled a considerable distance to take part in the event.

"I live in Queensland and I saw it on the television over there last year and I thought, yeah, that'd be a lot of fun," she said.

While there were many frills and much frivolity, the event's serious purpose was at the forefront of the minds of the Marilyns.

Participant Alexandra Newbold has lost two sisters to cancer, one as recently as five weeks ago. She said she was hoping to raise as much money as possible.

"I'm delighted to be in the Marilyn swim today … it's such a worthy case," she said.

"We're very sad but we're happy to honour their (her sisters') memories.

"It's great to do something positive."

Many of the participants have battled cancer themselves.

"I've had breast cancer, lost a breast," Ms Melick said.

"I have a boutique and love to empower women … after going through something as traumatic as that.

"I bring other people down and involve them."

Organisers hope this year's swim will raise $200,000.

"We're up to $125,000 already today," Ms Rowlands said.

"It's a way of bringing people together.

"Everyone's touched by cancer in one way, shape or form.

"It's really to raise funds for the vital work we do at Cancer Council SA."

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