Coonabarabran Public School was a hive of activity on Tuesday morning, 17 May, when it hosted 84 cars and associated crews participating in the 2016 Variety NSW AHA Bash, providing breakfast for the colourful travellers.
The morning visit, which attracted over 100 spectators, also coincided with the school’s Book Character day, with students and Variety bashers dressed in an array of imaginative costumes, including Smurfs, witches, ghouls, princesses, super heroes, clowns...and even zombies walking the earth!
Students were treated with show bags, giveaways, lollies and humour from all drivers, with many opportunities for photos with the characters of the Variety Club.
“It made for a very fun and colourful day at CPS,” said teacher, Mrs Lucy Evans.
“At breakfast we catered for 266 drivers, officials and passengers. The set up and pack up was done by the students on our student representative council (SRC) and the breakfast was prepared and cooked by our dedicated staff.
“The Variety Club arrived from 6.30am and we fed them bacon and egg rolls, toast, fruit and yoghurt in a steady stream until approximately 8.30am, when they returned to their cars to be flagged off on the next leg of their journey.”
Mrs Evans said all funds raised from the day will be donated to the SRC, with students given a say in how it is spent.
This 25th Variety Bash kicked off in Newcastle on Sunday, 15 May and will take contestants 2500 kilometres around regional NSW to raise money for children who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs.
The Bash travels through Dubbo, Coonabarabran, Goondiwindi, Casino, Grafton and Tuncurry before returning to Newcastle on Saturday, 21 May.
Each year, dedicated Bash crews raise more than $500,000 for children in need across the state. As part of this year’s Bash, entrants will help present more than $40,000 worth of educational, health and mobility equipment to local schools along the route.
Bash crews presented Coonabarabran Public School with a $3500 donation towards the cost of books, with Variety also donating a helicopter flight over Coonabarabran to the school for fund- raising.
“We chose to spend the Variety donation on novel sets for the classrooms,” Mrs Evans said.
“We pre-purchased these and displayed them for the people to see what their money had been spent on.
“Having these novels will enhance the students’ literacy and encourage an appreciation for books as a learning tool.”
The 15-minute helicopter joy flight, conducted by raffle, was won by Stacey and Tallon Walker.
“Stacey was a bit nervous and Tallon was very excited, as it was his first ride on a helicopter, but they both thoroughly enjoyed the flight over Coonabarabran,” Mrs Evans continued.
“While we don’t have an official total, we estimate that the helicopter joy flight raffle and breakfast will bring another $2500 for our students on the SRC to spend wisely around our school on areas they feel need improving.”
Coonabarabran Public School principal, Juanita Meier paid tribute to fellow coordinator, Mr Eli Phillips, and the “wonderful staff” and community helpers for their work on the Variety project.
“It was all worth it,” Ms Meier said.
“Being able to provide experiences like this in a school makes all the effort worthwhile - seeing the students smiling and watching their reactions was priceless.”
Over 200 crew members in 84 cars converged on the Coonabarabran Public School oval for breakfast on Tuesday, on day three of the 2016 Variety NSW AHA Bash across regional NSW.