Tea Gardens locals join Variety Big Bash charity drive

Matt Tulk with the ‘Rabbitohs’ NRL2 car at home in Tea Gardens.

BEAUTIFUL weather way out west greeted the drivers of the Variety Big Bash charity drive from 19-25 May, including a team of locals from Tea Gardens’ Woody’s Nursery.

After covering over 3000 kilometres in six days, not to counting the trip to the starting line at Gunnedah, Matt Tulk, Jason Bush, and Mark Grummisch, in the Rabbitohs car ‘NRL2’, along with Knights car ‘NRL8’ drivers Peter Voight and Gavin Bray, are understandably exhausted, but happy.

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“This is our fourth run doing the Bash, and we have raised more than $5000 for Variety in that time,” Matt told NOTA.

“We own and pay for the car, pay our own way and accommodation, and get to go out along the route to see where last year’s funds were sent.

“The route takes us through schools, community groups and families that contacted Variety for help, all over the map, and we raise more money each year to give to Variety to distribute as needed next year, too, so it keeps on going.

“Our local businesses, tradies and community are so generous around here, and nursery suppliers have donated goods, the proceeds from which we donate to the charity.

“The community here is bloody generous, the anonymous donors are incredible.”

One major element of the funds raised came from pig races at the Tea Gardens Country Club back in March.

While previous years have delivered bone-chilling nights in the western expanses, this year blue skies offered a “perfect run”, according to Matt.

“The excitement of the kids is the main highlight, we went to some very small schools, they saw all the other drivers dressed up as all kinds of characters.”

The final leg was from Muswellbrook to Newcastle, where it all wrapped up with the Variety Family Fun Day, announcing a total of $1.2 million raised this year, of which the ‘NRL2’ cars raised $11,207.

More information, including some awesome photos from the trip, can be found on the Variety NRL2 Facebook page.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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