AA To The REscue On The Variety Bash 2013
AA To The Rescue On The Variety Bash 2013
Once again New Zealand’s premier motoring services association the AA took part in the annual Variety Bash. This year’s event, the 23rd since the unusual motoring fund raiser was introduced from Australia, began at The Chateau and travelled via the Gentle Annie to Hawke’s Bay before crossing over the Rimutaka Range to catch the Bluebridge Ferry to Picton.
24 vehicles ranging from a 1973 Mini, through to several decommissioned fire trucks complete with water and foam made the crossing before continuing on down through Molesworth Station to Hanmer Springs.
AA Service Officer Ivan Jonasen joined the cavalcade off the ferry at Picton to ensure the old cars all made it to the finish. “It seemed like a great opportunity when I was asked if I’d like to service for the Bash but I really had no idea what it was all about” said Ivan. “Although I understood it was about raising funds for Variety – The Children’s Charity what I didn’t expect was the passion that these people have for less fortunate kids around the country. It’s quite infectious”.
Preparation of the elderly fleet of vehicles saw Ivan’s work mainly restricted to tyres, fuel and batteries. “With all the lights and sirens some of these fire trucks have, it was likely one of two would need help getting started in the morning… and the Molesworth was a long rough trek for the old cars.”
As a long-time supporter of Variety’s Bash, the AA was also involved in presentations to local communities; Ivan presented a cheque on behalf of Variety for $750 to provide library books and sports equipment to Kaikoura Primary School.
It wasn’t just the event participants who benefitted from the AA’s involvement in the Variety Bash. Over the course of the week Ivan stopped to render assistance to eight civilian motorists stranded on the side of the road. For the mobile service officer it was all in a day’s work but the Bash has certainly given him a different perspective on the work of the AA. “I can’t believe what a great opportunity this is. Variety are a great charity and the Bash fits so well with the AA, given it involves motoring. I have to report back on my week and I’ve got plenty of ideas”.
The 2013 Variety Bash distributed close to $72,000 to individuals and community organisations over the week ranging from a car seat through to a specially prepared Variety Sunshine Coach.