Boaties splash out thousands for Variety

Young Variety ambassador, James has fun at the helm of Skandia Wild Thing during the inaugural Variety Splash!
The inaugural Variety Splash, which concluded at the weekend, was a huge success with participants and sponsors raising around $140,000 for the children’s charity.

Undeterred by strong wind and pelting rain, over 20 power and sailboats departed Docklands on Thursday morning, travelling a three-day course to Mornington, across the bay to Geelong and back up the coast to Waterfront City.

Splashers swapped their sea legs for dancing shoes during the stopovers and nightly functions at Mornington Yacht Club and Royal Geelong Yacht Club and celebrated in style during the event’s final festivities at Melbourne Yacht Club Hotel.

Variety CEO Norm Hutton announced on Saturday evening the Variety Splash – modelled on the successful road-based Variety Bash – would be an annual event in Victoria.'We’re thrilled with the success of the Variety Splash… the boating community has really embraced the meaning behind the event and I’m blown away by the generosity,' Mr Hutton said.

'Among many other activities, Variety donates Sunshine Coaches - wheelchair-accessible buses to Special Schools and other organisations to provide transport for children, so they can get to their daily activities, and $50,000 of the funds raised through this event will be used to purchase another one of these vehicles.'

While the Splash finished for most participants on Saturday night, two luxury cruisers stayed at Docklands to ferry people around the bay on Sunday as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Proceeds from the 45-minute cruises raised even more money for Variety.

Maritimo 60 owners Murray and Julie Nugent said they had such a great time on the Splash, they were happy to make the experience last one more day.'Fundraising events like the Splash and the work that Variety carries out for the children in our community are so worthwhile,' Mr Nugent said.'We were delighted to be able to help out by donating the use of our boat, About Time, for the event – and we had a ball in the process!'

Funds raised through Variety, the children’s charity, go towards providing utilities and life experiences for Australia's sick, disadvantaged and Special Needs Children.

Some of the many projects Variety supports include enabling life-saving medical treatment; funding hospital wards and neo-natal transport ambulances; running public education campaigns; providing scholarships; purchasing minibuses and wheelchair-friendly playground equipment; and supporting individuals with mobility and communication devices.

http://www.varietysplash.org.au/