Scania to compete in Variety Bash

By: Amie Hickland

Scania will compete in the upcoming Variety Bash to raise money for the children’s charity in August

Scania to compete in Variety Bash
Scania National Sales Manager Bus and Coach Julian Gurney with the ‘Pink Panther’

A prominent Australia supplier is getting back to its grass roots and giving back to the community at the same time by participating in a national fundraiser.

Scania National Sales Manager Bus and Coach Julian Gurney joined the company in 2012 and will participate in this year’s Variety Bash.

He is grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Bash which is something he has wanted to do for some time.

The event aims to raise money for Variety – the Children’s Charity through sponsorship as entrants make their way around the country in vintage cars.

Scania alone had raised $4000 for the charity at their last Christmas function

Gurney says the company fundraiser planted a seed in his head, which was sown when he met a man fundraising for the event outside his local supermarket.

He then approached Scania to register whether or not the company would be interested in supporting him as part of the Bash.

Gurney then had the task of tracking down and restoring a vintage car – as cars need to be at least 30 years old to be involved – before finalising his entry.

His father-in-law Bill Sanguinetti, of Mcfarlane Medical Equipment, will be his co-driver.

The company has also contributed 50 per cent of the cost to repair the vehicle as well as being a major fundraising sponsor.

Given Scania’s parent company is Volkswagen, a VW 1969 Baja Bug was chosen as the preferred car.

It has been painted bright pink and named the ‘Pink Panther’ and has the number plate 112 – in tribute to the first Scania buses in Australia.

"It arrived on the back of a truck – not looking too bad," laughs Gurney.

Scania was then able to approach clients for more sponsorship with the first contribution coming from McCarney Bus Lines.

The fundraising effort has seen the Scania pool rise to $32,000.

"It just snowballed from there," says Gurney.

"For me, it’s humbling – the response I’ve had.

"It’s good to know that they’re happy to support myself and the cause to such a level they have."

Gurney says taking on the project is part of the company’s – and the bus operators – corporate responsibility.

"To see the industry contribute back to the people that are really a major part of the business – the kids – has been really special."

Gurney is taking the opportunity to help promote the company’s products, particularly to the regional operators they don’t see enough of.

He says they have a new school bus product for the market, as well as recently winning supply contract for Australia Capital Territory Government and the federal Department of Defence.

Gurney says everybody has been really supportive of his venture so far, particularly his 12-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son.

"But they did have a laugh when they saw their dad dressed up in a pink onesie."

The Victorian Variety Bash starts on August 14 and will see participants travel from Melbourne to Noosa, Queensland.

The group will then travel back to Sydney, New South Wales, to meet with groups from other states on August 17.

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