I am happy to report we made it back in one piece from the Variety Ruby Road Trip.
The road trip was an opportunity to see firsthand the impact Variety WA has and to meet some incredible people who contribute to their communities in ways I never could. The whole experience made me appreciate the importance of participating in fundraising events such as this.
Your contribution is having an impact beyond what I can describe. Below is a summary of what we got up to over the 4 days.
Day 1 - McCallum Park to Greenhills Inn
First stop was a special grant presentation at Carson Street School, where we granted $18,001 towards a modified Toyota Coaster Bus to transport students who require wheel chair access to extracurricular activities, such as local flexibility support programs, fishability, whole school excursions, bowling, Sculptures by the Sea and Perth Zoo. I think it is safe to say there wasn't a dry eye as we met students, parents, carers and teachers who each had their own story as to what this grant meant to them.
The day continued with the 4WDs and Bashers taking on a section of the Mundaring powerlines. The 'Lifesavers' in car 25 added to the laughs with a dip in a puddle that came up to their door handles. Meanwhile, Car Cruisers enjoyed a casual drive through Toodyay before our evening function at Greenhills Inn. Special thanks to The Sheds for providing the entertainment and getting everyone up on the dance floor.
Day 2 - Greenhills Inn to Mystery Location
Out the gate at 8am, we had a busy day ahead, starting with a fun stop at Yornaning Dam, where three MasterChef teams battled it out for the best vegemite and cheese sandwich. We then took off on separate routes for the next few hours before meeting up again at Williams Hotel for lunch.
Our next school visit was at Collie Senior High School, where we granted six Postural Support Chairs to help a Year 10 student who lives with Cerebral Palsy, to provide physical support in his classrooms. Thank you to the Collie Police Station for organising our parade through town, where we were greeted by so many friendly faces.
Night 2 was Oktoberfest, but first we had a fun stop at Harris River Winery hosted by the Kalgoorlie Crew. As we cruised down the driveway, you could spot the sea of glamping tents, which looked spectacular! We ate, we drank, we danced and wore multiple layers of clothing (as it was freezing!).
Day 3 - Mystery Location to Dwellingup
Day 3 and everyone is getting into the Variety spirit! The Car Cruisers enjoyed a casual river cruise with lunch in Mandurah while the 4WD's and Bashers had burgers in the forest and a fun stop - Ruby or the Boobie.
There was an extra special surprise this afternoon with the Hotham Valley Train picking us up from Dwellingup and dropping us off in Meelon to watch the AFL Grand Final, followed by a Variety Heart Scholarship Recipient dropping in to perform at our final night dinner with a spectacular fireworks show to top it all off.
Day 4 - Dwellingup to Rockingham
The final day of the Variety Ruby Road Trip saw a few people worse for wear after a big night, but the Dwellingup P&C provided the goods with bacon and egg rolls at Dwellingup Primary School.
We were joined by previous grant recipient, Aiden and his Mum, Sharona who shared her experience with Variety and how receiving their iPad has changed their lives. The Variety Kids Christmas Party also gave them the opportunity meet other families in a similar position and give the kids a chance to enjoy rides and kids activities in an environment suited to their needs.
With a smile on our faces, we convoyed together for our final stop in Rockingham, where we congratulated one another and presented thank you tokens for completing the first Variety Ruby Road Trip. The Variety Choir concluded the afternoon with a fantastic performance that deserved a standing ovation.