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Variety Bash Fires up for 2014

Variety Bash Fires up for 2014

Argus Fire Systems Ltd is first entry

Variety – The Children’s Charity had no sooner announced the dates of its next fund-raising road rally than Argus Fire Systems Ltd stepped up to the plate as the first entry.

The charity road rally raises funds to give Kiwi kids a hand-up, whether it be child seats for a cash-strapped community; specialized computer equipment for blind or deaf kids; medical equipment; or assistance to give disabled or underprivileged kids the extra help they need to compete on a level playing field with their peers, Variety and the men and women of the Variety Bash road rally are there to help.

Argus Regional Manager Bryce Donaldson says, “Argus is very passionate about working with the underprivileged kids of new Zealand along with Variety, and we enjoy the fun we have along the way too, meeting the communities we travel through.”

When Argus’s 137 staff members aren’t running sausage sizzles, selling Guy Fawkes fireworks or roping in their suppliers – like Tasman, FPT and Viking, Ideal Electrical or Pertronic – they’re hard at work, installing and servicing fire the commercial fire protection systems that protect the working parents of those kids they hope to help.

“Fire alarms and fire sprinklers, hose reels, extinguishers, hydrants, anything to do with building safety and we cover it,” Bryce says.

So it was a no-brainer to choose a classic fire engine as the Argus ‘Bash’ vehicle, a 1988 Mitsubishi fire truck bought from the Wellington fire service and now based in Penrose, Auckland.

“It’s got all the bells and whistles,” Bryce says. “All the water pumps are working, it holds 1800 litres of water, it all works as the fire truck would have done from the day it first drove out of its station.”

But it’s not standard – the Variety Bash is a fun event and its teams are nothing if not entertaining, and resourceful… “We have a hidden sprayer underneath the front we can spray the kids with, there’s a bbq, a drink dispenser and coffee machine on board, a 230V power generator and sound system: we use it for the Variety Bash, and also for social events and other charities. It’s like a mobile billboard for Argus.”

The team – all kitted out in orange overalls and red wigs – has been fundraising for Kiwi kids for three years now, with the fire engine’s eight seats filled by a variety of employees rotating in from Argus’ network of branches.

The 2014 Variety Bash kicks off on Sunday, March 15, travelling through Waitomo, Te Kuiti, Pio Pio, Mangakino and Rotorua before heading into the wop wops through Waikaremoana, then Gisborne and around the East Cape, before heading back north to finish at Tauranga on March 22. It will deliver grants and equipment along the way – shaking buckets and raising more funds as it goes.

© Scoop Media

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