Redlands couple launch Sarz Sanctuary for their daughter who was murdered in London

SARA'S LEGACY: Mark and Julie Wallace have set up charity Sarz Sanctuary to raise funds for traumatic grief healing centres. Photo: Hannah Baker
SARA'S LEGACY: Mark and Julie Wallace have set up charity Sarz Sanctuary to raise funds for traumatic grief healing centres. Photo: Hannah Baker

A CHARITY to help people experiencing traumatic grief has been launched by the family of an Ormiston woman murdered by Islamic terrorists in London last year.

Mark and Julie Wallace said the death of their daughter, Sara Zelenak, 21, who was tragically killed while out with friends, would not be in vain. 

The way Sara lived her life – in light, happiness and freedom – would be her lasting legacy to the world, used to help others overcome unbearable grief from traumatic loss.

The Wallaces are planning to set up traumatic grief retreats in Australia, the UK and France in Sara’s honour, which will offer traditional and alternative therapies to help people heal.

Efforts to raise money for Sarz Sanctuary have just begun but support from the Redlands community has already been huge, Ms Wallace said.

“It’s been such an amazing journey and we wanted to include the Redlands, where love and support from the community…has put us on the map,” she said.

“Without all friends and family, I wouldn’t be able to do this.”

Ms Wallace said $5 from every ticket sold online for admission to RedFest on Friday, September 7 would be donated to Sarz Sanctuary.

Ticket buyers need to type in “Sweat4Sarz” in the discount code box when purchasing.    

Tickets can also be bought at Cleveland’s Zyka's Kitchen and Healthworks Fitness.

Ms Wallace encouraged people to join a 45-minute cardio workout session, called Sweat For Sarz, which would take place from 6pm at RedFest’s Strawberry Plaza on the Friday night.

Ms Wallace said she had undergone grief counselling since losing Sara, her only daughter, in June last year.

She had experimented with other techniques to cope better and found that yoga and other alternative therapies helped more.

The find was a revelation, with she and her husband committed to helping others in similar situations.

The Wallaces are planning to turn their “Meet you in Paris” bike ride into an annual fundraising event for Sarz Sanctuary.

The pair completed the cycle in June this year, meeting other people supportive of their cause, including a French mother who had lost a loved one in the 2015 terrorist attack at the Bataclan Theatre.

Mr Wallace said they were planning to make the bike ride bigger and better, with ideas about hot balloons and other modes of transport brainstormed.

“We are spending the next 12 months fundraising to create what we want to create,” he said.

“We’ve got concepts in the wings.”

For more about Sarz Sanctuary or to donate, visit here.