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Variety Southern Dash Raises Thousands for Kiwi Kids

For immediate release

September 4, 2014

Variety Southern Dash Raises Thousands for Kiwi Kids

Fancy-dressed teams entertain, work at west-coast school

Variety – The Children’s Charity has added a new angle to its entertaining car convoy of fancy-dress teams. And this time it wasn’t classic cars, but clapped-out old rentals carrying the themed teams as they donated money to kids in need, entertained others and took part in a Grey Main School working bee.

The Variety Southern Dash raised around $8000 over the three-day weekend, but it was also a lot of fun.

Event coordinator Murray O’Donnell says, “Each team drew a key from the draw and had half an hour to decorate it before we headed off to donate a cheque to Shirley Toy Library, Christchurch to buy more wooden toys.”

“Then it was off to the STAND Health Camp at Glenieg, where Pooh Bear, Elmo the muppet and former All Black Reuben Thorne joined in the singing, and a basketball contest against the kids, before driving south to Waitaha Special Learning Centre, Templeton, for a short stage show by Dashers and lunch with the children and staff.”

The convoy then headed West to Hokitika, taking part in impromptu contests along the way, before getting up bright and early to join a working bee at Grey Main School – which is developing a school garden full of artworks, fruit and veg that the children will grow, harvest, and cook for a weekly meal.

The parents seemed more distracted by the sight of Spiderman planting strawberries, three sunglasses-clad bees among the string beans and a pair of Mexicans spreading gravel than their children were, but plenty of work was completed before the convoy left for a night at Blackball, where they were joined by celebrity chef, Jax Hamilton.

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Once there, they donated Canon printers to the local school and learned more about the region’s mining history, before returning to Christchurch on Sunday to catch flights home.

Thanks to teams from as far afield as Auckland, Tauranga and Christchurch, the $8000 raised will be distributed to kids in the area in need of a helping hand.

“The south island’s gorgeous scenery and the success of this event guarantee we’ll be back next year, following a different route,” O’Donnell says.

Meanwhile we’re finalizing the North Island Mini Bash with the teams in classic cars and fire engines. After all, there are more kids who need a bit of help, or a giggle to help them through their day, and more hard-working fun-loving folk happy to provide it.”


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