Thomas a hit on Valiant safari bash

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Nicolette BarbasHarvey-Waroona Reporter
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Brad Purcell has come back from the 2019 Variety Bash with a stash of awards, and is gearing up for next year's event.
Camera IconBrad Purcell has come back from the 2019 Variety Bash with a stash of awards, and is gearing up for next year's event. Credit: Nicolette Barbas

Taking part in his first but certainly not last Variety WA Bash, Brad Purcell has been busy driving his Thomas the Tank Engine-themed VG Valiant Safari wagon around regional WA, and is eager to do it all again.

Dozens of loud and colourful cars decked out in various themes drove a total 4430km over eight days in an effort to support sick, disabled and disadvantaged kids.

Thomas the Tank Engine, Dr Seuss, Captain Underpants and the Smurfs were just four of the 33 themed cars that took part this year’s event which together raised $564, 000.

Mr Purcell managed to fundraise a total of $14,400 and hopes to get more local sponsors on board next year.

“I ran out of time last year to get around to more local businesses as I was busy fixing the car,” he said.

“Now that I’ve participated once, I know how prepared I need to be with my fundraising efforts.”

Winning trophies for the best theme car, best mechanically presented and highest new fundraisers, Mr Purcell said the event was full of good memories.

“Everywhere we stopped, it was a party,” he said.

“We were all on the horns and sirens making noise and whether it was at a school or Aboriginal community, it was all about having some fun with the kids.

“Making it to Geraldton and driving through that big blow up archway, we felt so accomplished for where we had been and who we had helped out, and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.”

Now that it has had its debut, the blue wagon will be making more frequent appearances around the streets of Waroona.

“It’s a pretty ironic car in Waroona now,” Mr Purcell said.

“We’ll be bringing it along to a few of the upcoming events including the Vintage Machinery Rally and Christmas Lights, so be sure to keep an eye out for it.”

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