Variety Bash raises millions for South Australian children in need over its 30 years

The fun participants ready to leave on a South Australian Variety Bash madcap motor trip.

The South Australian Variety Bash reached its 31st year in 2019, with around $40 million raised for state’s sick, disadvantaged or special-needs children by the fun event.

The Variety Bash concept was created in 1985 by adventurer Dick Smith when he took a group of friends for a drive he called The Bourke to Burketown Bash that raised money for charity. South Australia adopted the concept in 1989 but with an emphasis on raising money for children in need through the Variety Club..

The Bash is generally an eight-day drive in the country. It is not a race or rally, more a madcap event designed to put the fun into fundraising. Vehicles taking part must be in standard condition and models with a minimum age of 25 years.

As the only motoring event in Australia that supports children in need, the South Australian Bash always focused on not only raising money during the leadup and throughout the event but we also be stopping along the way to surprise schools and organisations with grants from Variety Club’s fundraising.

Variety’s other motoring fundraiser is a six-day outback adventure taking 4WD vehicles and their owners off the bitumen and into the outback, but doing it in style. The emphasis is on good tracks, scenery, food and wine plus fun and entertainment.

The 4WD Adventure is Variety SA’s second highest fundraiser behind the Bash, raising more than six million dollars. As with all Variety events, safety is a major consideration. Its experienced outback team includes a medical team, mechanics, 4WD experts, a radio communications vehicle, satellite phones and an aircraft. The adventure caters for the experienced and inexperienced four-wheel drive enthusiasts, with options to take an easier track on the more difficult terrain.

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