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Local woman has a Bash for a truly worthy cause

LEMOLO — People do a lot of things in the name of charity.

Some bike.

Others run.

Still others take a swim.

But local woman Char Morrison’s charity work is driving a 1963 EH Holden across the Australian Outback in a 100-car rally.

This month, Morrison will leave her Lemolo home to head for Australia, where she will take part in the annual Variety Club Bash. The eight-day rally takes pre-1970s stock cars from Sydney to the shores of the Great Barrier Reef.

Contestants’ $7,000-per-car entry fee, plus funds they are able to raise from friends and family, benefit disabled and disadvantaged children in the Australian Outback. In the past 14 years, the Bash has raised nearly $8 million that has bought needed supplies and built schools and clinics in the Outback.

This is the fourth year that Morrison will take part in the Bash with friend Beryl Driver of Australia. Morrison and Driver met while the former was working as an airline stewardess — a job she is retiring from this month.

“She’s befriended a lot of flight attendants and shown us a good time on our vacations and we’ve had her here, too. She really loves Poulsbo,” Morrison said of her friend.

Driver became a member of the first two-woman team in the Bash four years ago and asked Morrison to join her.

“She’s a friend of mine and I think it’s wonderful that when you’re involved in a charity that you have a personal involvement in that,” Morrison said of her reason for spending so much energy on the fund-raiser.

Together Morrison, Driver and Ineke Jasmir-Mills are team Mermaid. Their Holden is painted turquoise with an ocean scape and Morrison said they carry treats for kids they meet along the way.

“In the middle of Australia the children have never seen the ocean so I always take lots of fishy things,” she explained with a smile.

This year will be a monumental year for team Mermaid, as the 70-year-old Driver has decided this will be her last Bash. In her honor, Morrison said she’s hoping to help her friend, who has donated more than $78,000 to the charity thus far, break the $100,000 mark in her donations to the Bash.

“And it’s all very, very grassroots fund-raising,” Morrison said of her efforts.

Morrison is still seeking donations for the annual Bash. Anyone interested in contributing can call her at (360) 598-2749. Donations can also be sent to P.O. Box 2876, Poulsbo, WA 98370.

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