It was six days of driving, dirt roads and delighted kids as the 2019 NSW Variety Bash made its way across more than 2,000 kilometres of outback NSW, delivering in excess of $50,000 in funding to rural schools.
This year's NSW Variety Bash raised more than $1 million in total for Variety -the Children's Charity and was proudly sponsored by the Australian Hotels Association Newcastle Hunter, for the eighth consecutive year.
"This year our annual charity race day raised more than $66,000 for the event and a number of our hoteliers participated in the Bash, which always makes things extra special for us as an organisation," AHA Newcastle Hunter, Newcastle Hotels Representative Nikki Taylor said.
"A number of our hoteliers participated in the Bash, which always makes things extra special for us as an organisation.."
Hoteliers on the Bash included Stag & Hunter Hotel and Customs House hotelier Mick Starkey, Hunt Hospitality owner Stephen Hunt, Seabreeze Hotel manager Mick Millett, Oriental Hotel owner Sam Cruickshank, Carrington Place owner Scott Webster, Nags Head and Shortland Hotel owners James Clark and Andrew Glasson, and AHA associate member Travis Hargreaves.
Hunt Hospitality, which includes the Duke of Wellington Hotel, the Kent Hotel, the Seabreeze Hotel and Lakeside Village Tavern, raised more than $100,000 for the event through independent fundraising, along with Sam Cruikshank and Travis Hargreaves' Team NRL consisting of seven cars who together also raised in excess of $100,000 for the event.
"Everyone in my car grew up in rural communities and went to small primary schools, so to be able to come back to places in rural NSW in a fleet of 104 colourful cars is fantastic," Sam said.
"We didn't get to see anything like this when we were kids, and the best thing about it, is that the kids love it. We're all just thrilled with it."
"Everyone in my car grew up in rural communities and went to small primary schools, so to be able to come back to places in rural NSW in a 104 colourful cars is fantastic..."
The Bash stopped in a number of small rural towns across the state, including Bomaderry, Moruya, Canberra, Batlow, Wagga Wagga, Carathool, West Wyalong, Rye Park, and Goulburn.
Along the way, Variety officials watched carefully in their search for who would receive the illustrious Spirit of the Bash award, an accolade presented to the team who best represents the true spirit of the event.
On the final night, the award was presented to a thrilled Team Flintstones, four community-minded people who raised more than $35,000 for the event by fundraising every week at the Duke of Wellington Hotel.
"The guys from the Flintstones team are at the Duke raising money week in, week out. with raffles and other initiatives. They're awesome and the award could not have gone to better people," Stephen Hunt said.
"The guys from the Flintstones team are at the Duke raising money week in, week out, with raffles and other initiatives and the award could not have gone to better people..."
Proceeds from the NSW Variety Bash will be used to provide support and funding for children who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs, when they need it most.