Mildura digs deep: Local Variety Bash team raises $55,000 for charity

MILDURA’S own SA Variety Bash entrant Mark Bowring has praised the support of locals who helped him reach his fundraising goal for the 2012 event.

Mr Bowring, who drove his 1974 Ford Fairlane while wearing a pink “hogs” uniform, had spent the past 12 months with his brother Graham Bowring and mate John Day raising $55,000 for the children’s charity before the Bash’s departure last Saturday, August 10.

Their effort earned team HOGS the accolade as the 2012 event’s fifth highest fundraiser.

Mr Bowring described the Bash, which this year took participants on a 3600 kilometre trek through towns such as Birdsville, Thargomindah, Cobar, Balranald and eventually Mildura, as being “a long way from reality” and “addictive”.

“You are in these little pubs throughout the outback, or you might be in the community hall, or at a school where the mother’s club is helping out,” he said.

“It’s an amazing experience meeting people.

“We don’t raise money on the Bash – a lot of people think we do, but we don’t – it’s a celebration of our year’s fundraising – barbecues, shaking a tin, golf days, all of that.

“More than half of our $55,000 was raised here in Mildura.”

The Bash started in 1974 when entrepreneur Dick Smith took a group of mates from Bourke to Bourketown in old cars, raising money along the way.

This year’s bash was Mr Bowring’s fifth and his brother Graham’s seventh.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Monday's Sunraysia Daily 20/08/2012.

See photos from the event click here

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