Local librarian’s outback adventure to help disadvantaged children

Karen Stacey and her husband are taking their ute off the beaten track in this year’s Variety Bash Queensland to help disadvantaged children.

LOCAL librarian, Karen Stacey, and her husband, Troy Reynolds, are preparing to hit the beaten track in their ute to participate in the 2021 Variety Bash Queensland from Winton to Yeppoon via the Birdsville Races, in 10 days from August 30 – September 8.

Team ‘Big Bird’, sporting a cassowary theme, will join a colourful convoy of 150 cars over bumpy and dusty tracks to raise money for Variety, the Children’s Charity, which assists and empowers children who are sick, disadvantaged, or with special needs.

A major sponsor of their blue 1969 HT Holden utility is Life Ur Way disability service in Innisfail, which has generously donated $4,000. 

Their other sponsors are Innisfail Mini Rail and Paronella Park, which will have their logos displayed and promoted to visitors throughout western Queensland. 

Five years ago, two of Karen’s aunts, aged in their early 70s, did the Scooterbor Challenge, where they rode on scooters across the Nullarbor raising funds for Beyond Blue, which has inspired her.

“As a child, I was always surrounded by my parents and other family who were charitable-and community-minded which really made an impact.”

“Since doing research on the work done by Variety, we feel it will be extremely rewarding, by assisting families who cannot always access government funds. We love Variety’s motto of giving all Australia kids a fair go,” said Karen.

The pair will be joined by seasoned local Bashers, Sam Corica and Troy Kopp, who are part of the support crew.

The ‘Basher’s’, as they are affectionately known, hand out special gifts and donations to deliver financial support to regional schools, hospitals, and communities such as specialist equipment, therapy, and medical supplies.

This year’s Variety Bash course is set to start in Winton and will visit the iconic outback towns of Kynuna, Cloncurry, Boulia, Bedourie, Birdsville, Windorah, Tambo, Dingo, and Yeppoon, covering close to 3,000 kms.

Since 1990, the Variety Bash has raised more than $18 million for children and children’s organisations across Queensland. 

Each vehicle must raise $8,500 as a donation to Variety and there is also an entry fee of $300 which includes GST and is not tax deductible.

The Variety Bash started in 1985 when adventurer, Dick Smith, took a group of intrepid motorists from Bourke to Burketown in their old cars, raising money for charity along the way. 

The Bash is not a race, rally, or speed trial and all vehicles must be two-wheel drive, 30 years old or older at the time of entry and non-performance modified. 

Currently, Team Big Bird have raised $3,000, however their goal is to raise $9,000. 

A raffle is also being run and will be drawn at half time of the Innisfail Leprechauns’ A-grade game at Callendar Park on July 17.

All donations are tax deductible and can be made online via www.varietybashqld.com.au/karen-stacey/.

Any individuals or businesses interested in being a vehicle sponsor or purchasing raffle tickets, can email Karen via: tomorrowland2@bigpond.com to find out more information.

To follow Team Big Bird’s adventure, please visit Variety Bash #6469 Team Big Bird Facebook page.

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