Taranaki Travel Agent Helps Out Local Kids in Variety Bash
Posted by Fleur Revell
A New Plymouth businessman’s generosity will help see Taranaki children receive food and life-changing technology as part of this year’s Variety Bash.
The desire to help out local disadvantaged children, and others around New Zealand, has inspired House of Travel owner-operator Dave Churchman to sign up to the eight-day Variety Bash for the first time.
Having completed two ‘Bashes’ in the past, Churchman is entering a team in the 25th Variety Bash that will travel around the North Island, starting in New Plymouth – where he has run the House of Travel store for 11 years.
“The Bash is a great chance to help the local community, and there’s nothing quite like bringing a smile to kids’ faces,” says Churchman, whose team is called ‘The Hotties’. “Seeing the joy a pushbike can bring to some of these kids, or even just a book and a toothbrush, is really special.
“It makes you realise that there are plenty of Kiwi kids out there who need just a bit of help, and even if you’re just making them smile or laugh as you drive by, it’s a really humbling experience.”
Churchman and his team will be raising funds along the way for Variety, which will donate more than $25,000 worth of grants to Kiwi children during this year’s Bash. In New Plymouth alone, he and other participants will put on a free breakfast for up to 500 kids at the East End Surf Club on 7 March, are gifting a $600 tablet to a local child with Aspergers to use for communication and schoolwork, and giving a local kindergarten a much-needed $1100 change station.
The Bash, which has raised over $7million in the 25 years it has been running, will also be donating $9000 of printers to low-decile schools throughout the country, and giving a minibus to one small school in need ot transport.
“Being able to be a part of raising funds for these grants and seeing the difference they make to kids’ lives in Taranaki, and elsewhere in New Zealand, is priceless,” says Churchman.
The Bash will be a family affair for Churchman, who will complete the first leg with his two adult sons Ryan and Shaun, and will have his nephew Paul Churchman along for the rest of the trip. However, he will also be picking up local House of Travel owner-operators in each place the Bash visits as they pass through.
“House of Travel has always supported the Variety Bash, but this is the first time we have entered a team,” says Churchman. “Lots of people want to be involved though, so owner-operators from Wellington, Masterton, Napier, Taupo and Tauranga will all be joining in.”
The team will be travelling in a 1964 Ford Fairlane with sirens, hooters, a blasting sound system and a grunty V8 motor which will see them around the route in true Bash style. “It’s going to be truckloads of fun, as well as a really rewarding experience,” says Churchman.
To support ‘The Hotties’ in the Variety Bash, visit https://varietybash2015.everydayhero.com/nz/the-hotties