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Three Albany men raising money for children as Team Lightning McQueen gets ready for WA’s Variety Bash trip

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Neil Newbold and Wayne Watson are part of Team Lightning McQueen who are taking part in this year’s Variety Bash.
Camera IconNeil Newbold and Wayne Watson are part of Team Lightning McQueen who are taking part in this year’s Variety Bash. Credit: Laurie Benson

Three Albany men are joining forces to raise funds for WA children in need, as they embark on the Variety Bash as Team Lightning McQueen next month.

Wayne Watson, Neil Newbold, and Russell Pearson will pile into their Ford EL Falcon now in the famous Lightning McQueen colours from the children’s film Cars and set off from Merredin on September 8.

The Variety WA Bash is the longest-running charity motoring event, an unforgettable action-packed fun-filled nine nights and eight days, organised by Variety — the Children’s Charity of WA.

The trio have been busy preparing their car for the popular event through regional WA.

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For the 2023 Variety Bash, teams set off from Merredin and finish on the coast in Denham on September 16, stopping off along the way to visit local communities and schools, hand-delivering Variety grants.

Team Lightning McQueen’s Neil Newbold and Wayne Watson with South Coast Insurance Brokers’ Nathan Hadlow who has donated $1500 for their Variety Bash trip.
Camera IconTeam Lightning McQueen’s Neil Newbold and Wayne Watson with South Coast Insurance Brokers’ Nathan Hadlow who has donated $1500 for their Variety Bash trip. Credit: Laurie Benson

The Albany team and other participants will raise essential funds for WA kids living with sickness, disadvantage and disability through their efforts.

Mr Watson said the team was excited to be taking part in the bash for the first time.

“We saw it years ago and I’ve been talking about doing it with the father-in-law and never got around to it,” he said.

“In Kalgoorlie, we saw the guys up there and they looked like they were having a lot of fun so we said let’s do this.

“It’s about fundraising for disadvantaged and disabled children and having some fun along the way, we are looking forward to it.”

Team Lightning McQueen has already surpassed their $4000 fundraising goal, which is the figure required by first-year entries, but Mr Watson said they hope to grow that amount.

“The minimum to start with is $4000 but the more you raise, it all goes back to the kids,” Mr Watson said.

“It’s been great we’ve had local businesses jumping on board, donating and doing work to the car for us.

“Nathan at South Coast Insurance Brokers has been really good, he really got us up and going.”

Mr Watson said their car was ready for a gruelling few days on the road.

“It was a stock standard car, a guy had owned it for six months but previously to that it was a one-owner car so it’s probably too good to be doing what we are doing to it,” he said.

“We’ve just done normal maintenance sort of things, ball joints, transmissions and diffs and then safety requirements tail shaft hoops, chains around exhausts, UHFs and flashing lights so travelling in the dusk you can be seen.”

The Albany team have raised more than $5000 so far and anyone wanting to donate can visit https://bit.ly/3E9ih7m.

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