Generally, a hippo riding a quad bike in the vineyard might be considered unusual, but knowing Lyn Hobbs, it’s perfectly acceptable.
The Bethany grapegrower was “limbering up” and working on her “hippo abs” on Monday in preparation for her seventeenth Variety Bash, a fun-filled fundraiser for which she’s managed to collect more than half a million dollars in donations over the years.
Lyn is part of team “Madagascar”, hence the hippo outfit, and will join friends Maylene Loo, dressed as a zebra; Melissa McKenzie, a giraffe and Roz Chow, a lion, as they drive car 88, a 1982 Commodore for the 2020 Bash which was initially postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions and replaced with a shorter version now running from November 7-12.
Team Madagascar has raised more than $60,000 for this year’s “KI to Capital” and will join around 300 other crazily costumed entrants driving 100 vehicles from Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, through to Wellington, Robe, Mount Gambier, Keith, Loxton and Angle Vale before crossing the finishing line at Glenelg, leaving smiles and good cheer in their wake.
Having joined her first bash in 2004, Lyn is proud to say she hasn’t missed an event since.
“I love getting together with a group of like-minded people and doing wonderful things for kids in need,” Lyn said of the Variety Bash.
“I am especially looking forward to visiting Kangaroo Island and being able to help the community after a year of devastating circumstances.”
For Lyn, whose husband passed away several years ago, participating in the Bash is not only about bringing smiles to children and much needed economic benefit to regional areas of South Australia; it’s also about being part of a tight-knit community she calls friends.
“The Variety family is my saviour – they are just wonderful people,” Lyn said.
“They are fun and caring and what is really wonderful is none of the money we raise is wasted, every single cent goes to the kids.”
Other Barossa Valley entrants in this year’s Bash include Dr. Bill Geyer, of Tanunda, who returns as a Bash Official, along with Michael Rawlings, of Springton, a member of the Castaways’ team and Colin Fawcett, Mount Pleasant who will ride with the T-Birds.
They will all witness their fundraising efforts first hand over the five-day event, with grants totalling $290,673 to be presented along the route.
Over the past 31 years, the SA Bash alone has raised in excess of $44 million (net) for South Australian children who are sick, disadvantaged or live with special needs.
To learn more, or to donate, visit varietysa.org.au.