Better than ever: Rescheduled Variety Bash supports children across South Australia

A number of Port Lincoln locals are amongst the three hundred entrants travelling around the state as part of the 32nd South Australian Variety Bash, raising money for sick and disadvantaged children.

For the first time in event's history, the Bash was postponed due to COVID-19 and replaced with a shorter event travelling within South Australian borders which began this weekend, running between November 7-12.

The 'KI to the Capital' Bash, sponsored by Tim Adams Wines/Mr Mick, had 81 cars and 32 support vehicles start their journey in Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, before making their way to the finish line in Glenelg, passing through regional towns likes Robe and Loxton along the way.

Six Port Lincoln locals are taking part, including David Ahola (Bash Official), Charmaine Caston, Deb White, Sandra Lukin, and Emma-Lee Pedler (Runaway Brides), and David Oldman (Bash Official).

Paramedic, David Oldman is attending the Bash for his third time, as a part of the event's medical personnel team.

Mr Oldman has been involved with children's charities since 1995. His second daughter was born with congenital heart disease, so when the opportunity arose to join the Bash as a medical official, he jumped at the opportunity.

"It was a way for me to give back as parent who has been on the receiving end of a children's charity," Mr Oldman said.

"I get to combine a passion for helping kids with special needs with my passion for paramedics and ensuring peoples safety."

Mr Oldman described the Variety Bash as one big, special family.

"Three-hundred plus people from all walks of life, all come together with a similar purpose," he said.

"It is very rewarding seeing everyone's fundraising efforts over the past twelve months come together in one event."

Participants in this year's Bash will have a chance to see the effects of their fundraising efforts first-hand, with grants totalling $290,673 to be presented along the route, during the five day event.

Over the past 31 years, the South Australian Bash alone has raised in excess of $44 million for children across the state, and this year's Bash also has an added aim of providing an economic boost to regional towns, following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Variety SA CEO Mark McGill said the charity had overcome a number of hurdles to go ahead with the event in 2020.

"Many things had to be put on hold, but our passion for raising money for kids in need was never one of them," he said.

"Without the support and unwavering dedication of our sponsors and entrants, this event would not have been possible and I have never been prouder to be a part of this event.

"It is also extra special as we are visiting communities affected by bushfire at the beginning of 2020, I think everyone feels that this event will be one of our best yet."

For more information, or to donate, visit: varietysa.org.au