4WD: Fundraiser proves Variety is spice of life
Variety: Priscilla's chariot complete with hot lips and long eyelashes. Picture: Camilla Spry

Get your diary out and register early for the Variety Club's next four-wheel-drive adventure - the latest was a memorable extravaganza, with participants having such a ball that the next event will sell out fast.

Vanessa Giltrow, Des Bunter and Greg "Stork" Anderson, the key organisers from Variety's Mid West region in Geraldton, are to be congratulated on setting a new benchmark on the weekend of July 27 for combining four-wheel driving and fundraising with a record amount of laughs.

They were ably assisted by 25 volunteers in smoothly running the weekend event that saw the 70 participants assigned Wild West characters, and tasked with working out which of 10 colourful suspects was responsible for a dastardly murder.

The scene was set in a temporary campsite transformed into the Wild West town of Notnyl Nob. Friday night kicked off in the Silver Saloon complete with Saloon Rose's dancing girls Halfa Chance Hetty and Nortie Nelly kicking their heels up high and an ivory tickler caressing the piano.

A bucking bull was on offer to challenge the bravado of the cowboys before the discovery of the untimely death of Richard Lickerty kicked off the mystery to be unravelled by Sheriff Will Hangem and Deputy Ben Dover.

Teams were encouraged to dress up to provide a colourful spectacle to the schools and towns visited on Friday. Car No. 1, complete with hot-lips and mega eyelashes, was the exquisitely decorated chariot for Jan Adjuk's fabulously pink Priscilla.

The Teletubbies proved a hit with the kids - and the costumes hid all evidence of over-indulgence at the Silver Saloon by ensuring no tubby tummy was visible.

The organisers cunningly mixed participants from different cars into teams to solve the mystery - providing plenty of opportunity for misdirection and mayhem.

F-Troop made an outstanding effort to always leap to attention when their theme song was played, regardless of late hour or drink in hand.

The weekend provided a perfect opportunity to get away with only a short run up to Geraldton before trekking further north.

The route rats found some new locations - with many participants commenting that seeing the Zuytdorp cliffs north of Kalbarri was a spectacular bonus for the weekend. The 200m high cliffs run for around 200km providing the western boundary of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area - and the continent. With wave-cut benches, blowholes, spouts and slips, these dramatic cliffs are the longest fault scarp in Australia.

As usual, the weekend was more than driving and fun and the Variety Club thanks the magnificent bunch of volunteers, participants and sponsors who raised more than $60,000 for the sick, disadvantaged and special needs children of WA. Top fundraising honours went to Gold Sponsor Mitchell and Brown with a very tidy contribution of $6435 being added to the kitty.

A reunion dinner will be held as a wake for poor young Dick Lickerty on August 31. Four-wheel drivers keen to attend future events should keep an eye on variety.org.au.

The West Australian

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