Naturally, Ford was in a position to help out, not only with able-bodied volunteers but with some specialised assistance from builder John “Cocksy” Cocks. The makeover also signalled the start of the Variety Mini-Bash, a condensed version of the larger event — a crazy convoy of vehicles and personalities that travels the countryside raising and distributing funds to disadvantaged children.
“Ford New Zealand has been the ‘driving force’ behind Variety since its inception in New Zealand in 1989, and we were pleased to be able to sponsor a project such as this,” says Clare Ponton, member of the Ford “Rat Pack” Bash team and Ford New Zealand media relations manager.
“Staff from Ford’s head offi ce also participated as part of Ford New Zealand’s corporate citizenship programme.” This year, the Mini-Bash raised $35,275, and a total of $82,375 was distributed in the form of grants to assist Kiwi children in need.
And what of the makeover? Cocksy’s plans for the refurbishment included painting inside and out, a new bathroom, creating an entry area with a walkway and slanted roof, and refurbishing the kitchen.
The project scope also included general joinery work, including new windows and a sliding door to the deck, laying new carpet throughout and fi tting out new curtains. A new garden was also to be created, featuring a herb garden for the students to work in and enjoy.
Bashers, sponsors and the local community got behind the upgrade, with some particularly inspiring stories of volunteers such as Chris, a West Auckland builder who happened to be passing the school, saw the activity and offered his help.
Chris walked for an hour and a half from his home each day to help out on the project. Of course, thanks must go to everyone and especially those who supported the makeover with materials and services, including Adept Flooring, Aqualine Gib Board, Atlas Concrete, Buteline, Carter Holt Harvey Building Products, Caroma, Craftwood Kitchens, CS Cavity Sliders, Eric and Carter Electrical, Gold Smith Developments, Hale Partitioning, Hirepool, Jacobsens Creative Surfaces, Johnson Rugs, Luke Glamuzina Contractors, Marley, McDonald Industries, Methven, Onehunga Carpets & Rugs, Plumbing World, Rheem, RNZAF, Stevensons, Subway, The Breeze, Tribro, Waitakere City Council, Wattyl and Winstones.