HUGE GALLERY: Variety 'Bashers' roll out of Gladstone
LIBRARY Square in GoondoonSt filled with hundreds of colourful characters and roaring engines this morning as this year's Queensland Variety Bash roadshow prepared to set off.
The 'Bashers' will spend the next 10 days driving through the backblocks of Queensland to the finish line in Townsville.
Variety chief executive Steve Wakerley, who is taking part in his 18th Bash, said about a third of this year's group were first-timers.
"They're probably wondering right now what they've got themselves into,” he said.
Variety raises funds for children and their families who can't afford specialist medical equipment, supplies and therapy, and the Bash is one of its major fundraisers.
"Most people come for the adventure,” Mr Wakerley said, "fixing up an old car and driving it, spending time with their mates.
"But they quickly twig to the fact that this event is much bigger than that. It's about changing the lives of kids.
"When we give a little kid a walker and they see the change it makes to their life and their family, it's hard not to get emotional.”
His advice for anyone wanting to take part in a Variety Bash?
"So many people have it on their bucket list, but you've just got to register and do it,” he said.
"You can imagine what it's like when 110 cars and 300 people roll into a town with 50people in it - we're blowing that place out of the water.
"I've spoken to adults who 20 years earlier were in a little regional school somewhere and they still vividly recall the day the Bash came through.”