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Variety Bash’s ‘Bernie’ inspires Childrens Book banner

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT with Shane Cortese

Variety Bash’s ‘Bernie’ inspires Childrens Book

I have always been a strong supporter of the Entertainers Charity “The Variety Club”. They go out of their way to help underprivileged kids in our country and always have a great time raising awareness and money. Imagine my pride when they asked me to become an ambassador for them.

You may have heard about the ‘Bash’, an action packed journey throughout parts of New Zealand in a convoy of painted up fire engines and cars, soaking each other on the way and calling into schools to donate money and in some cases bikes and mobility swings.

One of the engines that I have a strong affiliation with is “Bernie” based on the North Shore. Bernie is a bright yellow engine with a team of dedicated personnel intent on having both a good time and raising a lot of money. Bernie is a 1964 Commer VK fire engine that was converted from a service engine to Variety Bash vehicle in the 1990’s.

The team prides itself on having the best looking vehicle on the Bash and because of that it looks for as many opportunities to interact with children as possible. In this way the team is always aiming at generating as much exposure as possible to make a real difference in the lives of New Zealand children.

So to maximise this fund raising opportunity team member Adam Leslie has fulfilled a bucket list moment by writing a children’s book based on Bernie. He identified an incredible opportunity to turn a “Real” fire engine into an instantly recognisable children’s character.

The Bernie’s Buddies book is in fact based on real life stories of the travels it has taken on the bash and some of the team that travelled on her. It is not only fun but also educates our children on the country they live in.

Every place and every character in the book Bernie visited or met with on her cross New Zealand Journeys.

I have seen a draft of the book and its bright, fun, informative and interactive. I am very proud to endorse it and can see it becoming a possible kids cult favourite. Just imagine if the next Thomas The Tank Engine type children’s series was born right here in our ‘hood.

At around the $15.00 mark the book would make a great xmas present and for more information please feel free to email (She even does children’s parties!) or visit the facebook page


by Shane Cortese