Bluebridge ferries have got on board with the Variety Trillian Bash on its mission to raise funds for Kiwi kids in need of a hand-up. Nearly 30 fire engines, classic cars, army engineers and officials aboard borrowed Fords will load up at Wellington waterfront on March 12 en route for Picton.
But first, they hope to entertain sick kids being hosted by the Kiwi ferry business.
Strait Shipping managing director Sheryl Ellison says the company has supported the Variety Bash for more than a decade.
“The Variety Bash was one of our first sponsorships established soon after the Bluebridge passenger service began, and we are delighted more than ten years on that we are still able to support Variety in the great work that it does with disadvantaged and sick children.”
Double-ended Bedford 'Subbus' is used to tackling ferries of all sizes
Ms Ellison says the company is a big supporter of anything involving helping children meet their full potential, and the Variety Bash fits this criteria perfectly.
“The Variety Bash crossing is always an entertaining one, and we hope to bring a small group of child cancer patients down to the ferry terminal to enjoy the Bash vehicles and have some fun with Bash participants before the ship departs.”
“In March we will also be supporting the Child Cancer Foundation’s Annual Appeal with $1 from every booking made going towards helping young cancer sufferers with their battle.”
On board the convoy will be magician and children’s entertainer SuperHubert and professional wit Mark Wright,
“Plus TV One news anchor Simon Dallow is a regular, as is actor Shane Cortese,” says Bash Director Murray O’Donnell, “Both are keen supporters of the Bash and the Charity, and work hard to arrange their schedules in order to help as much as they can.”
They won’t want to miss watching this year’s Bash crews loaded aboard. One fire engine alone is 17 metres long and has two independent steering cabs, the 1958 Bedford Bus has two front ends pointing in different directions, and darting among the bigger boys – including eight fire engines painted half the colours of the rainbow – there’s a tiny classic Mini with a giant cupcake atop its roof.
Once at Picton the charity convoy will meet the South Island teams and commence a week of visiting 21 rural schools and 4000 children between Blenheim and Nelson, Greymouth and Westport, Ashburton and Timaru.
2016 Variety Trillian Bash route
March 12: Levin to Blenheim – thanks to Bluebridge ferries
March 13: Blenheim, via Wairau Hospital visit toPortage Resort
March 14: Portage area, visit Waitaria Bay School
March 15: Portage to Nelson via Linkwater School, Havelock School, Canvastown School, Rai Valley School, Hira School, Clifton Terrace School, Auckland Point School
March 16: Nelson to Blackball via Auckland Point School, Brightwater School, Wakefield School, Murchison Area School, Westport, Greymouth.
March 17: Greymouth to Lake Coleridge via Cobden School, Blackball School, St Patricks School, Dobson School, Lake Brunner School
March 18: Methven to Timaru via Methven School, Rakaia School, Chertsey School, Fairton School, Asburton Borough School, ending at the Caroline Bay Sound Shell.