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Celebrities get behind Kiwi kids in need

For immediate release

March 11, 2014


Star-studded line-up to join Variety Trillian Bash at Rainbow’s End

The 30 quirky cars and fire engines of the Variety Trillian Bash will be greeted by a line-up of celebrities when they gather for the off at Rainbow’s End on Sunday, March 16 at 10am.

Famous Westie comedian Ewen Gilmour, actors Mark Wright and Shane Cortese, TV’s Simon Dallow and children’s entertainer Suzy Cato will be part of the fun as 70 kids get a free ride through the park, before Suzy and Shane wave the vehicles off as they head into back-block New Zealand, entertaining children, delivering grants and fund raising as they go.

Shane Cortese is a firm fan. “If you get a chance to see the Bash in action, get along! These guys who drive the length and breadth of the country are true champions and legends. The look on children's faces when these engines and cars roll into a school and donate money is something that stays with me for forever, unlike the foam- and water-soaked clothes!”

Shane is referring to the frequent fire engine battles that break out, sometimes orchestrated by local brigades – clearly he’s been caught in the crossfire before, to further the entertainment value.

Mark Wright says Variety’s origins are in the entertainment business, and it’s good to see people the kids recognize join the Variety Trillian Bash as it travels New Zealand each March. “But the bulk of the ‘Bashers’ aren’t from the industry, they’re everything from ordinary mums and dads to generous corporate groups, that great cross section of society coming together for the same good cause.”

Mark will join the Bash from Auckland to Waitomo, rejoining Thursday 20 at Waihau Bay and staying on until the Tauranga finish on 22nd,

Simon Dallow will also join in from the start, leaving from Rotorua on Tuesday. The long-time supporter says the Variety Bash is an incredible experience. “An automotive assault on the senses, as quirky and modified vehicles bring squeals of delight to kids around the country. Bashers (just as quirky, and in some cases, even more modified…) come from all over the country, from all walks of life to raise money that then goes to tangible, life-altering grants for some of New Zealand’s most-deserving children.”

“Shaking a bucket to raise a few dollars, then seeing the overwhelmed tears and grateful smiles of disadvantaged children and their families, is unbeatable.”

“Knowing you can make a difference just makes you want to keep helping our young people reach their potential.”

Another long-time Basher, Suzy Cato, says “I've really enjoyed being a part of the Bash adventures in previous years. It gives adults a chance to enjoy being a kid again, as they raise funds for disadvantaged children around NZ.”

“The Bash visits communities that are tucked away in places which make it challenging to access some services and entertainment, and the Bash teams get to create a bit of fun and laughter for the young and young at heart – having a heap of fun themselves, along the way.”

“As a Basher I loved the chance to meet my young friends and their families;

sharing hugs, and laughs and stories about their favourite shows – very

special moments I will always treasure.”

Ewen Gilmor has his own two teams entered the with the stretched Ford GT Limo, sponsored by GT Radial Tyres, and Turtle II, a 4wd with a Nissan R34 spoiler atop the roof, and as always he will remain with the Bash from start to finish.

“It’s an event I always look forward to, spend months planning for, and I never want it to end. You go to a school, especially in the backblocks of beyond, they don’t get a lot of stuff like us, we’re bigger than the Santa parade in some places.”

“And then there’s Variety – The Children’s Charity, and the core reason why we’re there, to help those kids.”

“Look at the insulin pumps it supplies. Seven or eight grand is a lot of money for parents to find, yet with one a diabetic kid can finally go to school camp without his mum coming along. Finally, it gives these kids the same freedom as their mates.”

Ewen says, “Every year a few kids stand out, and underline that us being there really does make a difference.”

For updates during the day along the route, go to, for nightly updates and a link to the Variety Bash Youtube channel, go to


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