Victor Harbor locals, including Tony Modra, helping SA kids in need

BASH TIME: The Vilis team of Simon Milisits, Brenton Moore and Ben McDonnell surround Tony Modra who has a tasty platter of pastries ready for lunch.
BASH TIME: The Vilis team of Simon Milisits, Brenton Moore and Ben McDonnell surround Tony Modra who has a tasty platter of pastries ready for lunch.

The 2021 SA Variety Bash is set to hit the road on August 14 to 21. This is the 33rd year of this iconic annual event, raising much needed funding for kids in need.

Four Fleurieu locals will be among the events entrants. They are Don Aston (Bash Support 708), Merv Mortimer (Fun Stops), Tony Modra (Vili's), and Jim Clark (Castaways).

For AFL great and Victor resident, Tony Modra, this will his fifth Variety Bash joining gold sponsors Vilis. This means he has the very important role of handing out more than 3000 hot pies, pasties and sausage rolls to entrants and locals on the route.

"I'm a country boy at heart. I love opening a private farm gate knowing a farming family has allowed us to drive through tracks along their property.

"When you come out and end up at a remote town and get to meet the locals, you just think 'How good is this'!," Tony said.

When asked what Variety SA means to him, Tony said, "you don't have to look far to learn of somebody in need of special care, giving back to the community is a part of how we live."

Variety Bash entrants will get to see their fundraising efforts first hand over the eight-day event with grants totalling $67,251 presented along the route to help kids in need.

Over the past 32 years, the SA Bash alone has raised in excess of $45 million for South Australian children who are sick, disadvantaged or live with special needs.

Kids just like, 12-year-old Chantelle from Goolwa, who received a Variety Scholarship recipient for dance.

When Chantelle was younger she was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, auditory processing disorder, ADHD and dyslexia. Chantelle finds school learning and social situations challenging, but finds that dance is a great way to regulate her sensory needs.

Since receiving her Variety scholarship, Chantelle has participated in dance competitions and has worked hard to perform as part of a team in troupe performances.

She practices every day and is very committed. The scholarship has helped Chantelle's mum pay for dance lessons, costumes and equipment, which has helped improve their family life drastically.

Starting in Pooraka at the SA produce markets, the 2021 SA Variety Bash will travel 2410km around South Australia and finish in the Clare Valley, coining the name 'Fruit to the Vine'.

The eight-day event, proudly sponsored by Tim Adams Wines/Mr Mick, will see more than 300 crazily costumed entrants and 100 colourful vehicles travel under revised, COVID safe conditions, through regional towns such as Quorn, Leigh Creek, Innamincka, Port Augusta, and Peterborough.

The event, hoping to raise more than $2 million for South Australian kids, will bring much needed economic benefit to regional areas of South Australia through supplies, meals and accommodation as well as presenting grant funding throughout the State.

"As our flagship event, the Variety SA Bash leads the way as our major fundraiser and as such is critically important to meeting the financial needs of our annual grants program. We exist to support tens of thousands of children in need in our community and despite the most challenging environment we remain determined to get the Bash away whilst being ever mindful of the safety of all involved," Variety SA CEO Mark McGill said.

Event highlights include a lap around the Mallala Motorsport Park, seafood lunch in Innamincka alongside the 'Spaghetti Games' and the final night dinner in Clare at Mr Mick.

To learn more, or to donate, visit varietysa.org.au

This story Modra has a 'Bash' for children in need first appeared on The Times.

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