Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines because all the fun of the Variety Club of Queensland 2018 Bash will kick off right here in Gladstone from August 22, 2018.
The ten-day rally will follow a circuitous route, taking in Lake Monduran, Biloela, Blackwater, Dysart, Halliday Bay, Glendon, Bowen River and Charters Towers before finishing in Townsville where they will meet up with competitors from the Victorian bash for a gala dinner at the finish.
Five local teams are already preparing for the 2018 start and shared their enthusiasm for this fun packed event at the Variety Club Bash launch at the Gladstone Entertainment Centre last week.
Peter Kinder’s Car 1770 from – naturally – the town of 1770, Ron English’s Hot Wheels (Car 6969), Leanne Shepherd from Bushrangers Too, The Simpsons and the Rocky Bull were all present and correct and ready to line up at the start line next year telling attendees at the launch of the fun to be had, the camaraderie of “The Variety Family” and the great feeling knowing you have helped children in need.
“They say you’ve gotta do it,” Ron English said. “I say you’re mad if you don’t. Give it a run. When you see these children and what we do for them, it’s magic. If you can’t come on the Bash then support it in any way you can,” he said/
Joining the Variety Club Bash is the experience of a lifetime full of according to Craig Marriott, operations manager at Variety Queensland said. He stressed that it’s a rally, not a race and the winner is the highest fundraiser. Cars must be more than thirty years old to be eligible, and teams must raise at least $8,500 to start – but they usually raise far more.
Leanne Shepherd of Gladstone bashers Bushrangers Too raised over $12,000 in her last Bash and had the trip of a lifetime. “It’s the best feeling and we have so much fun on the way,” she said.
The Variety philosophy is that they don’t give money, they only give goods and services, so as the Bash travels through regional Queensland they visit families, schools and organisations bringing these to families of children providing grants to children and families who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs.
In the over twenty-year history of the Bash it is estimated that over $220 million has been raised by Variety for things like adaptive communication technology to give non-verbal children a voice, wheelchairs and walkers, a $120,000 Sunshine Bus for the children from Rosella Park School and the familiar “Liberty Swing” in parks throughout our region.
Kate Russ, principal of Rosella Park spoke at the launch about how much Variety donations had meant to her students: “You do absolutely change our world,” she said.
If you are interested in finding out how you can join the 2018 Variety Club Bash or help children in need through Variety, consult their web-page www.variety.org.au