Motoring Events 2020/21
There is no doubt our iconic motoring events are the key to our fundraising success and we certainly rely on – and look forward to – every opportunity to get out on the road with our big-hearted community of Bashers, Dashers, Riders and Adventurers.
While 2021 presented some challenges with the 2021 Variety 4WD Adventure cancelled due to floods on the NSW North Coast and the 2021 Variety Brydens Lawyers B to B Bash cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions, we did manage to get off the beaten track with more than 600 of our mates new and old across five events during the year.
Variety Adventure Ride
The inaugural Variety Adventure Ride covered 2,700km of hot and dusty roads in October 2020. 35 riders departed from Dubbo on day one and headed out to remote Cameron Corner and six days later they returned, dusty but proud having ticked off an amazing bucket list item with the assistance of our support crews. We backed this up by running a second Variety Adventure Ride just six months later in March 2021 through the beautiful Snowy Mountains region. Across both Rides, we raised $150,000 for kids in need – an extraordinary effort with a new and promising event.Read about Variety Adventure Ride
Variety Postie Bike Dash
Back for its 7th year, 73 postie bike riders rode out of Tamworth in November 2020 – many of them on their first-ever Dash. A highlight for everyone was the chance to present grants to two schools along the route – Gloucester Public School received funds to upgrade their beloved Peace Park and Comboyne Public School were granted new educational technology to help improve literacy and numeracy skills. Our Dashers are passionate about supporting kids in need and raised over $230,000 in 2020 – the highest ever for our Postie Bike Dash.Read about Variety Postie Bike Dash
Variety Resurrection Run
This special ‘one time only’ event was developed to enable our long-time supporters to get out for a drive with their mates after the cancellation of the NSW Bash, B to B Bash and 4WD Adventure events in early 2020. 206 motoring enthusiasts took part in the November 2020 event which injected much-needed tourism dollars into regional NSW and helped to raise over $220,000.Check out the Highlights
Variety NSW Bash
Newcastle turned on a glorious morning when 293 Bashers in 105 cars left the foreshore on our 29th NSW Bash in May. The NSW Bash visited 12 regional schools, giving more than $60,000 in grants on their week-long adventure through the red-dust roads of outback NSW via Lightning Ridge. After the cancellation of the NSW Bash in 2020, these passionate Bashers were thrilled to take part and their excitement showed in their fundraising efforts with an incredible result of $1.2 million!Read about Variety NSW Bash
Hair with Heart
We always try to look on the bright side of life and if there was a positive to take away from a global pandemic, it was that ongoing lockdowns across Australia led to a unique opportunity for people to stay home, grow their hair and raise funds for those in need!
Our Hair with Heart program gives hair a second life, with hair donations being made into wigs for those who have lost their hair due to a long-term medical condition such as alopecia. In 2021, we received 6,420 donations of hair, and over $1.8 million was raised across the country with over $940,000 retained in NSW.
These are record figures for the program with October 2020 being the biggest month we have ever seen – over $215,000 was raised in that month alone!
The funds raised enabled us to grant 56 wigs, support the Variety Alopecia Areata Adventure Camp and other grants.Find out how Hair with Heart works
Show Us Ya Heart
Our Show Us Ya Heart fundraising appeal was launched in response to the overwhelming number of applications we received for our We Learn Grant in July. We challenged everyone to open their hearts and help us to raise as much money as possible to fund grants for families doing it really tough. Thanks to the generosity of our wonderful supporters, this campaign raised over $10,000 – which put extra laptops and educational supplies into the hands of kids who really needed them!
Variety Spin 4 Kids
Given ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, we hosted our very first virtual version of Variety Spin 4 Kids Newcastle in October 2020. 13 teams participated in the annual spin bike challenge, raising $29,000. Fortunately, as restrictions eased we were able to bring teams together at the Newcastle Foreshore for the April 2021 event with 25 teams nailing their kilometres – and their fundraising efforts – to raise more than $70,000. Major sponsors, Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group, who have participated and sponsored now for five years have committed to ongoing sponsorship for the next three years. Spin 4 Kids also debuted in Sydney in June, taking the harbour city by storm and raising over $26,000. Team Endeavour Energy scooped the pool on the day taking out both the highest fundraising team and the award for Kings and Queens of Spin.Learn more about Spin 4 Kids Newcastle Learn about Spin 4 Kids Syndey
Variety Christmas Parties
When Covid-19 restrictions forced the cancellation of our annual Christmas parties in 2020, we knew we needed to do something to bring some festive fun. So, we dreamed up a drive-thru celebration for our Newcastle families. More than 1,000 kids in more than 400 cars enjoyed a festive spectacle as they passed by roving characters and enjoyed a wave from Santa and Mrs Claus before receiving their free Variety gift – all without leaving their vehicle! In Sydney, 1000 kids and their families enjoyed a Variety Xmas Evening at Sydney Zoo including a special photo opportunity with the jolly old man in red!Read about Variety Xmas Toy Drive-Thru Read about Variety Xmas Evening
Variety Rocks 4 All
Sunshine and smiles were on show in May when our Variety Rocks 4 All Concert took over Tumbalong Park in Sydney. Families and friends enjoyed a beautiful afternoon of entertainment with some of Australia’s best performers taking centre stage. Kids loved singing along with former yellow Wiggle and children’s entertainer, Sam Moran, while ABC Playschool presenter, Rachael Coopes, got everyone on their feet to join in the fun. Country music fans were not forgotten with amazing performances from Four Times Golden Guitar Winner, Amber Lawrence, and multi-ARIA nominated singer/ songwriter, Jasmine Rae. This inclusive event was brought to life via a City of Sydney Covid-19 Recovery CBD Activation Grant.Read about Variety Rocks 4 All
Variety Dine 4 Kids
Following the cancellation of Variety of Chefs Newcastle, Dine 4 Kids was designed as an intimate fundraising dinner at the Newcastle Club in November 2020. 70 guests enjoyed a delicious meal with entertainment from past Variety Heart Scholarship recipient and talented pianist, Ayesha. The event raised $40,000 for kids and families in need.
Variety Easter Family Fun Day
Variety kids and their families had the opportunity to spend a great day at the Sydney Family Show in April. Everyone enjoyed fun activities in our inclusive activation area which brought smiles to so many little faces. We couldn’t put on wonderful days like these if it wasn’t for our amazing community of supporters. Our thanks also for our partnership with Sydney Family Show and all of our sponsors.
Since 2013 Woolworths teams and customers have gone above and beyond to provide vital funds to Variety through our incredible partnership, raising over $11 million for kids in need. The passion of Woolies teams can be seen in stores across NSW and the ACT. Woolworths has fundraised for Variety in many creative ways over the years. From cake stalls to sausage sizzles and fundraising morning teas. Customers too have shown their support by Rounding-Up at Woolworths checkouts, buying a $2 Wall Token or making a donation in-store or on the Woolworths website.
In a first for the partnership, the Woolie-saurus made its NSW Bash debut in 2021 driving through regional NSW to raise funds for kids in need. Along the route, Woolworths stores donated supplies to the local schools and the Bashers stopped at to feed the crowds. In many instances, Woolworths team members had some very early starts to help run the breakfast barbecues which fuel our entrants for a long day of driving. Crew members, including NSW/ACT General Manager Supermarkets Michael Mackenzie, are already talking about NSW Bash 2022.
Whenever the call goes out, Woolworths is always there to help. From helping at our Christmas Parties and Car Bash events, Woolworths generously lends a hand and has been a reliable supporter of ours over many years. Their enthusiasm to work in partnership with us has been invaluable in helping Variety achieve our goals.Read about our Woolworths Partnership
Brydens Lawyers has supported Variety for years. Starting as a bash car sponsor they’re now the Naming Rights Sponsor of the iconic Variety Brydens Lawyers B to B Bash and have confirmed their continued support for the 2021 event. Brydens also partnered with Variety to create Variety Community Connects, a series of family information events and resources providing free expert advice to families in need.
FGX has been supporting Variety since 2015 by donating their management and performance fees. Their generosity has contributed to fund Variety Just Like You. The disability awareness program had previously been delivered only in metropolitan Sydney; however, thanks to the additional funding from FGX, the program has expanded to Newcastle, Central Coast and ACT. Since this initiative started, FGX have contributed a staggering $700,000+ to help primary school aged children understand that kids living with disability are just like them.
At Variety we’re passionate about inclusion and are thrilled to have partnered with the brand new Sydney Zoo. The three-year partnership has already seen a Variety Musical Picnic session on opening day and a free Variety Family Fun Day for kids. We look forward to the Sydney Zoo hosting the start line of the Variety Brydens Lawyers B to B Bash in 2022 and the launch of an inclusive Variety Livvi’s Place within the Zoo’s grounds.Read about our Sydney Zoo Partnership
When we decided to add an additional motoring event to the annual schedule, there was one partner that we went to initially for guidance who eventually came on as the inaugural partner of the Variety Adventure Ride. Our partnership with Pickles commenced years ago, with the regular entry of a Pickles staff team in the B to B Bash. Today they are a key workplace giving partner and have provided countless volunteers to ensure our kids experiences run smoothly. Pickles are also great people to know if you are in the market for an adventure bike, postie bike or Bash appropriate old car.
McPherson’s is a leading supplier of health, wellness, beauty, household and personal care in Australasia. McPhersons’ Lady Jayne brand and Variety’s Hair with Heart program joined together in late 2019 to give the gift of confidence to people who have lost their hair due to a long-term medical condition. Lady Jayne’s popular Double Bar Slides have been given a make-over and co-branded with Variety Hair with Heart with 100% of the profit from the sale of the product donated to Variety. The Double Bar Slides continue to prove popular, generating significant funds for Variety, including granting wigs to kids.
Australian Volunteers honoured with a Variety International Presidential Citation
Greg and Janette Cocks won a Variety Presidential Citation Award for their exceptional and sustained contribution to Variety. Greg and Janette are Variety’s radio base for various Bashes and are a crucial part of our motoring events since 2000. Most of the Bashers have never actually met them face-to face- but many of our officials will know their voices well.
Greg and Janette provide safety and communications. They mostly camp in the bush, setting up their communication towers and their bush office with computers, radios and all the essentials – including their infamous afternoon cheese platter! Before we leave on the Bash, they review the roads we will travel on, research where hospitals and emergency services are located and have maps on hand if we require a detour due to flooding, road closures or any other emergencies.Read about Greg and Janette here