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Where’s Wally? In the Waikato

For immediate release

9 August, 2013


Variety Mini Bash brings ‘Where’s Wally’ fun to Awhitu, Otahuhu, Port Waikato, Pukekohe and Waiuku on September 20-22

The Where’s Wally team will drive their Stihl Shop Silverdale-sponsored 1959 Pontiac Laurentian for the tenth time in a Variety Mini Bash this September, bringing their instantly recognisable brand of fun to the event.

Their orange car with its roof-mounted chainsaw, boot-top rocket, flashing lights and sirens is as big a hit with adults as kids, but it’s their costumes that make them memorable. Lanky Peter Leishman, his wife Judy and their daughter Dana plus Power Parts man Bernie Duff dress up in the instantly recognisable red-and-white striped shirts and round black glasses, as do occasional ‘Bash’ guests like Mark Wright and Buck Shelford.

But there’s a serious side to the mayhem. “We just love making a difference to kids who need a hand, and their families,” Pete says. “It makes you realise how lucky you are with your own kids. I’ll never forget one young man, Travis, a cancer patient whose family had a dream trip to Auckland thanks to Variety – The Children’s Charity, and we planned a cheery visit while passing through Te Anau one year and then we heard he’d died, just the day before. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place that night.”

There are fun times too – with the Wallies photo-bombing cheque donations, turning working bees at rural schools into comedy events, or seeing the mile-wide smile on a child’s face when a much-needed piece of equipment is delivered by the Stihl Shop team.

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Judy says the ‘Bash’ is a bit of a family, too. Everyone does their own fund-raising through the year – the Stihl shop refurbishing second-hand mowers, running sausage sizzles and organising raffles to augment sponsorship funds – before meeting the Bash crew for a twice-yearly donation run, each time following a different route.

“It’s a fun group of people,” Judy says, “A big reunion – and we get to see more of New Zealand than most Aucklanders know!”

Next month they’ll be seeing the Waikato, calling in at schools to make donations, and shaking a donation bucket down Pukekohe High Street, then taking kids with cancer for a ride round Pukekohe race track.

If you’re in Pukekohe on September 20-22, you’ll find them at South Auckland Ford on Saturday around 10.30 or 11, and at McDonald’s Pukekohe on Sunday at 8am.


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