Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


New Plymouth’s Scooby Crew gets behind Kiwi kids

Charity Rally Launches Quarter Century From Taranaki

New Plymouth’s Scooby Crew gets behind Kiwi kids

When the 25th Trillian Variety Bash launches its fund-raising classic road rally this year on March 6, it’ll do it from New Plymouth with the help of a local team dressed up as comedy cartoon characters, the Scooby Crew.

The crew will mark the start of the event by donating a Friendship Seat to Egmont Village Primary School on `Friday 6, “When a child feels sad or lonely, they sit on the seat and other children know they need a friend to sit with them.”

Warren Haakma and his wife, Fay, will be aboard their 1977 Chevrolet C20 Sport van, a vehicle they imported from Las Vegas, Nevada, and wrapped to resemble Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine. “We try to make it look as authentic as possible, although we have added a light bar and sirens for extra effect!”

Warren says the kids they visit love the quirky cars and trucks on the Variety Bash, and a highlight every year is meeting some of those who’ve benefitted from the work teams like his do for Variety – The Children’s Charity.

Haakma says it’s seeing the kids they’ve helped that keeps teams hard at work fund-raising all year. “This year Syndie Maxwell will come along to see us off. A teenager with cerebral palsy who needs a walking stick to get about, she’s received a lightweight collapsible TravelScoot electric scooter donated by Variety and the Rotary Club of New Plymouth north to deliver that independence so important to teenagers.”

The team works hard all year to raise the donation necessary to join the rally, to keep their van going and to fettle their costumes – after all Scooby is one of the most popular characters on the event, which each year travels New Zealand’s remoter roads and calls in at its smallest communities to entertain, and to help disadvantaged kids be the best they can be via grants of sports equipment, mobility devices, specialist computers – and, for some lucky schools, the keys to a Ford Sunshine Coach.

Haakma says sponsors also do their bit, with the Scooby Crew supported by Aspect Signs, Naki Driving School – with Fay doubling up as Velma – plus Education Services, Symons Transport, and Automotive Professional Services. “We raise funds via catering functions, by running a U18 Wakeboard event, and by hiring the Chev out for rides at school galas,” Haakma says.

He says part of the appeal is joining the Bash as it travels the country – this year from New Plymouth south to Wellington, up the East Coast to end in Auckland on March 14. And a big part is the camaraderie among the big family of Bashers, a bunch of fun-loving crazy people who like to get together to do good things, and spread smiles and laughter through schools, hospitals and public places.

“But of course what really keeps us fund-raising is seeing how much our help can mean to the kids. We’ll never forget Jack Peacock, a young man in Palmerston North with a rare disease. We collected him from treatment at the hospital, visited his ward and took him and his brother to Feilding to meet the rest of the Variety Bash crews, and the entertainment celebrities who come along. “This is the best day of my life!” he told us, a touching moment, and one we remember whenever life seems to throw us a curve ball!”

To keep up with the Scooby Crew, see the contact details below, come along to farewell the Trillian Variety Bash on March 6 and drop some change in their fund-raising buckets – or join their team of sponsors to help them help New Zealand children be the best they can be.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland