Couple bash out ‘fun and silliness’ for good cause
IT'S little wonder that Gold Coast couple Richard and Sue Nevins have won the title 'highest fundraiser' in the Variety Bash on several occasions.
This year their fundraising tally stands at $115,000 and climbing, and last year they raised a whopping $130,000.
As former Queensland chairman of Variety's charity arm, Richard knows about the benefits for disadvantaged children achieved with the money that's raised on the annual Bash.
"It's a lot of good people doing a lot of good work," he said.
"These kids otherwise don't get help. We've got some really good supporters.
"We give anything from a reading book to a wheelchair-assisted car.
"Providing these things has a knock-on effect to the family.
"What we also bring to the bush is fun and silliness."
The Nevins, of Gaven, drive a 1963 Cadillac and their theme this year is Margaritaville, for which they don tropical, casual dress.
"We make margaritas along the way. We've got a chainsaw-powered margarita-maker," Richard said. "It's not for the drivers though!
"I enjoy catching up with everyone each year. They're very much an extended family."
Richard and Sue have completed about 30 of the annual Bash rides between them.
"We've had several Bash cars, and the two children now drive their own car," Richard said.
"I'm in my 60s. A lot of people are in their 60s and 70s and still bashing.
"A couple are in their 80s."
This year the Variety Bash teams will spend 10 action-packed days from August 30 to September 8 travelling through outback Queensland as they trek from the Sunshine Coast to the pristine beaches of the Whitsundays, with a lay day in Longreach.
Excited children will greet the colourful Bashers along the way, and be the beneficiaries of several presentations in the so-called Surf & Turf event.
Nerang couple Robyn and Wayne Webster will drive a support utility vehicle in the 2017 Bash.
Usually they'd be in the thick of the action, but cancer hit them both last year so they've had less time to prepare.
Wayne has taken part in the Bash for the past 27 years.
"We initially became involved because my sister broke her spine," Robyn said.
"Had we had Variety back then, it would have been a great advantage.
"They're one of those charities that looks after kids that fall through the gaps.
"They may need a hydraulic lift or a wheelchair, an accessible bus..."
Bash highlights for Robyn are the many children they've met along the way.
"To be driving in the middle of the bush and you see nothing for hours, then you see kids sitting on the fence - for those kids it's a real treat.
"The Bash puts a lot of money into a lot of little towns.
"Bashers have to be fed, watered, and there's accommodation and fuel."
Anyone who wants to donate to the Bash can do so at www.variety.org.au/qld.