Va­ri­ety vet­eran ready to hit road

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

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.

Visit www.va­ri­etywa.or.au.

Pic­ture: Jon Bas­sett

Rod O’Dea knows what it takes to last the dis­tance in the Va­ri­ety WA Chal­lenge.

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