READY TO GO: Gloria and Norm Shepherd in front of their Variety Adventure 4WD.
READY TO GO: Gloria and Norm Shepherd in front of their Variety Adventure 4WD.

Bush bashin’ for a good cause

IT’S the type of generosity that usually goes unnoticed – everyday people doing what they can to help sick children in need.

For Gloria and Norm Shepherd, the opportunity to drive in the Variety 4WD Adventure couldn’t come soon enough.

“This is something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Mrs Shepherd said.

“To give the kids, regardless of their capabilities, the opportunity to fulfil their dreams to the fullest potential is something I would like to see and do.

“We were so lucky to have children that had no sicknesses or disabilities and I just thought I’d like to see the children get the benefit out of life.”

No stranger to the work Variety does, Gloria’s daughter Julia has driven in the iconic Variety Bash for the past three years.

“I’ve seen first-hand the impact that these events have – where I’ve met up with my daughter in certain places and we’ve seen what they’ve done for some of the children,” she said.

“It’s not only the children they help, it’s the families as well.”

Founded in 1975, Variety has raised more than $200 million for children in need.

The 11-day trip kicking off in Queensland heads off-road to the Victorian high country, traversing challenging dirt tracks mapped by Variety.

It’s not only an opportunity to raise money for children, their car is uniquely designed to reflect Gloria and Norm.

“Because it’s a children’s thing, our theme is Bob the Builder,” she said.

“We’re planning on having big stickers of Bob and his wife on the car, plus a big Bob the Builder doll on the front.”

Based in Pratten, the adventurous duo have begun fundraising for their off-roading event in November 2020.

“Our entry fee is $5000 and all the proceeds raised in Queensland stay in Queensland to help those children,” she said.

Despite this being her first adventure, Gloria said there was more than personal gain to her motives.

“It’s not necessarily for yourself, it’s for the children – that is the main thing,” she said.

“On the side you do get to meet some really fantastic people and people that become friends for life.

“But it’s the children – if you see some of the things that Variety does, it would make you want to get involved.”