Variety veteran ready to hit road
NEDLANDS resident Rod O’Dea (57) remembers his first Variety WA Challenge through the state’s north to raise money for the children’s charity 19 years ago.
“On the very first one, in 1996, we were heavily rained out, but we still raised $20,000,” Mr O’Dea said.
He has since done 15 Variety WA Challenges, is now on the charity board and will be the event’s chairman when about 45 entrants and officials start the 20th annual event at the Capricorn Roadhouse, Newman on Saturday.
“I started because an old mate, Ian Diffen, was one of the earliest drivers behind the previous Variety WA Bashes, and he said, ‘Why don’t we start a 4WD section?’,” Mr O’Dea said.
Each annual challenge now raises about $200,000 to help WA’s less privileged and disabled children.
This year’s participants will travel about 2500km through the state’s north, through Rudall River National Park, to finish at Monkey Mia on May 28.
All the money raised will be used to provide the children supported by the charity with the experiences, learning and laughter of typical childhoods.
Rod O’Dea knows what it takes to last the distance in the Variety WA Challenge.