There was great excitement at Merimbula Public School on Tuesday morning as the Variety NSW AHA Bash rolled into the school grounds complete with colourful characters from well-known films, vintage cars, singing legend, John Paul Young and plenty of noise.
Teaching staff and helpers were at the school at 5am to ensure a barbecue was well underway by the time the convoy, comprising 71 Bash cars, 15 support vehicles and 240 people, arrived.
Each year the Variety Bash travels around Australia providing much-needed equipment and grants specifically for children.
Merimbula Public School principal, Michelle Hulme said: “It was about a year ago when one of the organisers visited and asked if we would be interested in catering when the Bash passed though. I thought it would be great to have so many people stay in town on a Monday night.”
But as well as the fun of having the vintage cars and colourful characters to breakfast, the school was also asked how the Variety Bash could help. Ms Hulme said: “We’d just started a new phonics reading program and so I put in a wish list of books which they purchased for us. It’s just under $5000 of reading resources.”
Each car paid at least $4000 to be part of the convoy with many contributing much more. Variety Bash official Victor Sheil said that last year the Newcastle based event raised over $800,000 for the Variety Club and that they were hoping to match it this year. As the group travels around they deliver equipment or grants to schools on their route.
On Tuesday the school grounds echoed to the sounds of hooters, laughter and singing as teachers, Bashers, family groups and students enjoyed a big barbecue breakfast and the opportunity for lots of photos with the Bashers dressed in their many colourful costumes.
The Year 4 Bashful Buskers performed a number of old time favourites and were then joined by singing legend, John Paul Young, dressed as a policemen for a rousing chorus of ‘Love is in the Air’ much to the delight of the watching crowd.
Ms Hulme thanked the many local people and businesses who helped on the day and said it had been great fun.
As the convoy left, the World’s Skinniest Magician kept students occupied.