Lisa Simpson heads bush to make some d'oh for Aussie kids
THE pink Simpsons bug is a regular on the Variety Bash scene, but this year it's Amelia Holgate's first time behind the wheel.
Dressed as Lisa, the hairdresser will leave Rockhampton on Monday to take part in Australia's largest charity motoring event, to raise money for Australian kids in need.
And there's one local boy the Yeppoon drivers are determined to help, with the gift of a wheelchair-accessible vehicle for his loving family.
(See at the bottom of this page how you can help Izaac, who attends North Rockhampton Special School).
Mrs Holgate joined her husband, who drives car 99, 'the Frog', at the start and finish lines the last three years.
"There's a big dinner at the end when they play videos from the bash and some of the kids who Variety have helped rock up to say thank you," she said.
"I'm the one crying in the audience; it's beautiful to see so many people in one room trying to help the kids of Australia."
This year, she expects there may be some tears along the way; Bashers drive 30-plus year old cars along some pretty tough terrain, so there are always a few breakdowns along the way.
The 1967 pink Volkswagen belongs to Greg and Debbie Wilson, who 'stretched' it by adding a back seat for an esky.
"It started for us a bucket list thing but now it's an addiction, our annual holiday," Mr Wilson said.
"We describe the Bash as a family reunion and a travelling circus in one."
Others stalwarts, who will travel the inland tracks between Mackay and the Gold Coast, include the big Phantom car which Amelia described as the 'Taj Mahal'.
Then there's the Pie in the Sky and the Margaritaville, which keep bashers fed and watered during their many fun stops.
The 120 wacky cars and 300 colourful characters begin each day knowing where they'll end up... but not how they'll get there.
"The Variety crew give us a mud map each day, and we literally go bush, through creeks and cattle properties," Mrs Holgate said.
The entourage will stop in Rockhampton on Thursday, and leave again on Friday morning at 7am.
Everyone is invited to join them for a sausage sizzle at the Showgrounds 4pm Thursday, and to wave them off from Kent Street (between William and Derby Sts) 7am Friday.
Visit the Variety Bash website to donate or Variety Bash Car 1111 on facebook.
- Izaac was born premature and later suffered a catastrophic head injury.
- As he continues to grow and develop, his grandparents and siblings struggle to carry him to and from their car.
- They receive Government funding for wheelchair modifications, but not for the vehicle itself.
- Yeppoon Variety Club bashers, including Amelia and the Wilsons, have raised nearly half the $40,000 target with the help of local businesses, organisations and individuals.
- Can you help? You can donate via teamvariety.raisely.com/car-1111-raising-funds-for-izaac or 'Variety Bash Car 1111' on facebook.