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Variety Southern Dash raises $12,000 for Kiwi kids

Variety Southern Dash raises $12,000 for Kiwi kids

Thanks to good-old Southern hospitality

The second annual Great Southern Dash has raised $12,000 to help Kiwi kids in need of a hand-up, says Dash director Murray O’Donnell, and it’s all thanks to good old-fashioned Southern hospitality.

“We’re still totting up a few late bills and chasing a pledge or two,” O’Donnell says, “So it may end up more than that, and it’s all thanks to a group of big-hearted folk from all round New Zealand, attracted by the lure of the south.”

O’Donnell, who directs the annual Variety Trillian Bash events that runs teams of fund-raisers mounted in classic cars and touring NZ’s backblocks in aid of Variety – the Children’s charity, set up the Dash last year as an affordable entry to the quirky event.

“Unlike ‘bash’ events, the Dash doesn’t require you own a car – we get rentals at the end of their life, have a key draw and a set period for teams to decorate their cars, but as with the Bash, participants have to pay a hefty donation to the charity to take part, and be prepared to put some muscle in to help Kiwi kids,” O’Donnell says.

“This year that meant not only did we hand over several thousand dollars worth of grants to Canterbury kids, we also spent several hours working to clear wind-felled trees Ashburton’s Longbeach School,” he said.

“But the rest of the weekend was pure fun, taking participants along back roads to Cardrona and Naseby, then back to Christchurch, and taking part in activities along the way.”

The high point for the north islanders was the scenery, says Stihl Shop Silverdale regular Judy Leishman, whose daughter works in Westport, and for the Canterbury participants it was meeting some of the kids that Variety helps.

But the chance to go Karting at Highlands Motorsport Park also hit the spot, while many teams bought up large after a winetasting at Central Otago’s Tannacrieff Wines.

Murray O’Donnell says they’ll be another Southern Dash in 2016, based around Queenstown on July 29-31, but first he’s running the annual eight-day Variety Trillian Bash, which will pass though Nelson, Greymouth, Methven and points between, and end in Timaru on March 18.

ENDS


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