Road Boss Rally 2018 raises $250,000
The weary adventurers who took part in the 2018 Road Boss Rally, yesterday shook off the dust, rolled up their swags, packed their vehicles and hit the unfamiliar surface of bitumen for home.
But that wasnt before they presented national online charity GIVIT with a cheque for $250,275 after crossing the finish line in the tiny Riverina town of Booligal, 700km west of Sydney.
The generous and fun-loving adventurers driving to make a difference in the lives of Australias most vulnerable people had tackled dust storms, sand hills, salt plains, tumbleweed hazards, old rail tracks, dry creek beds and corrugated outback trails.
Dubbed “the Road Boss” for fearlessly taking participants where other rally organisers wouldnt dare go, founder and organiser Jamie Lawson, of Toowoomba, said this years 3,500km rally had travelled through four states and zigzagged the mighty Murray River.
Mr Lawson congratulated the 180 participants driving 60 character vehicles for all safely completing the challenging nine-day rally. “When finishing a rally a lot of entrants get the feeling of great accomplishment and so they should, Mr Lawson said. “The country we travelled through was rough, rugged, dry and unforgiving. So to do this for nine days straight, early mornings and late nights is such an accomplishment.
The iconic Aussie rally left Brisbane on July 10, heading via the Darling Downs for its first nights stop in Texas. Then it was off into NSW and overnight stops in Nyngan and Pooncarie, South Australias Berri, Victorias Dimboola before Mildura for two nights, Quambatook and finally Booligal.
The drivers from across Australia look forward to the annual odyssey led by Mr Lawson whose family have been organised rallies for 31 years. He and his father Allan have raised an estimated $20 million for charities in that time.
Mr Lawson said the Road Boss Rally always lives up to its mantra of “driving to make a difference” by helping communities along the way.
“Its not just the tens of thousands of dollars that the rally participants spend along the way in some remote towns that are doing it tough but the fact we team up with GIVIT to find out exactly whats needed in the communities we visit. Rally entrants help these communities get what they need.”
While in Dimboola rally entrants held an auction of items to raise funds to allow students of Dimboola Primary School to attend camp this year. Parents of some students are struggling financially because of the ongoing drought in the region.
In Quambatook GIVIT delivered four boxes of new Bonds and Champion underwear and clothing and winter woollies knitted by volunteers from the Sunshine Coast were presented by a rally entrant.
A donation with a difference was made to the Booligal school after they requested mulch, woodchip and loam to build a vegetable garden. The schools eight students who live on the Hay Plains are looking forward to working in the new fertile patch.
GIVITs CEO and founder Juliette Wright was overcome when presented with the $250,275 cheque in the Booligal Community Hall.
“The Road Boss Rally crew call themselves ordinary people doing extraordinary things. But we truly believe they are all extraordinary people doing incredible things.
“GIVIT is incredibly grateful and humbled by their support for us. We are honoured to be able to work over the coming year to ensure every cent goes towards helping some of Australias most impoverished people.
Mr Lawson and his wife Michelle spend several months before every rally mapping out routes, gaining property owner approval and organising catering, often a vital fundraising avenue for local CWAs or P&C groups.
The vehicles all have their own character like Groot, Car No 311, a modified 1945 Dodge 4WD military wagon. Owner Ian Rodgers, of Caboolture, says “Groot leaves its mark wherever it goes.
“Once you take part in your first rally youre hooked, Mr Rodgers said. “Its so much fun. You get to see countryside not normally seen. Jamie gets permits and permission to close off areas.
Three first-time Road Boss entrants from Sydney travelled in their converted 52-seater 1993 Hino bus decked out in the theme of the 1970s TV show, On the Buses. Recently retired police officer Alex Campbell and two friends shared the driving over the rallys cruise course, the less adventurous bitumen alternative to the main rally.
In July 2019 the Road Boss Rally will leave Cowra in NSWs central west, travelling via the Burke and Wills Dig Tree in Bulloo, Queensland, for Caloundra. If youre seeking an unforgettable adventure that offers both fun and a challenge, then get aboard the rally.