19 October 2023

Coolamon Shire mini rally to raise funds for cancer charity Country Hope

| Oliver Jacques
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Guy in batman suit in front of car

James McKenzie, AKA Batman, will participate in Saturday’s rally. Photo: Supplied.

A single day car rally will be held in Coolamon Shire on Saturday (21 October) in support of the Riverina Outback Rally, an annual event that has raised more than $2.75 million for cancer charity Country Hope since 2017.

Event organiser Jeremy Crocker, a Coolamon Shire councillor, will be driving this weekend with his team True Blue in a panel van.

“We are trying to get as many people as we can. It’s not too late to join, you can turn up right on the day and enter. It’s $25 a head and you have to buy something at the bakery before you leave.

“We start outside Ganmain Bakery, then head to Beckom, we stop at Ardlethan for lunch where we each buy our own, then we head to Marrar [near Junee] and then it’s back to Coolamon.”

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About 30 people are expected to attend in 15 cars.

This weekend’s rally will support the next Riverina Outback Rally, which is scheduled for March 2024. This event was launched by Darlington Point’s Tammy and Gavin Gilbert six years ago to raise funds to support children with cancer.

It was originally called the Riverina Redneck Rally, but the name has been changed to ensure nobody gets offended.

Next year’s rally will leave Darlington Point on 18 March 2024 and finish in Grong Grong on 22 March 2024.

A rally car in front of trees

The event formerly knowns as the Riverina Redneck Rally attracted people from all over Australia. Photo: Facebook.

“This weekend’s event in Coolamon is a bit different,” Mr Crocker said. “At the Riverina Outback Rally, your car must be a two-wheel drive. But we don’t have that restriction. The whole rally will be on tar, we’ve got some family cars coming along too.

“We’ll have some raffles and number boards on the day, as well as dice rolls – where you roll the dice and whoever scores the biggest number wins a prize at one of the shops.

“It’s a two-fold event; we are trying to support all the hotels and businesses in the shire and we’ve also got a charity auction coming up on the 24th November.

“One hundred per cent of funds goes to Country Hope.”

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Country Hope offers a regional service to help local diagnosed children and their families with ongoing practical, financial and emotional support.

Teams must raise $3000 to participate in the rally, but over the years many have raised much more than this. Participants are able to raise money any way they choose.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Mr Crocker said. “We often have themes, like superheroes or a particular decade.”

There’ll be no theme for this Saturday’s event, which is aimed at being as inclusive as possible.

“I’d like to thank all the publicans and businesses who have helped it out. If you want to join, just meet us outside the bakery between 10 am and 10:30 am on Saturday.”

People can also make donations to support Country Home via the Coolamon mini rally My Cause website.

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