DUNGA DERBY: Hero's welcome as cars return home
AFTER receiving the community's generosity through last year's Dunga Derby, Dianne Francis' wish was to join them on the road.
And despite her illness preventing her from making the main leg of the immense journey, she was one of 180 participants who rolled onto Seafront Oval in their car yesterday, surrounded by family and friends.
Having started in the car on Friday, and joined on the last leg from Tiaro, her wish to participate has come true.
Dianne's father Darrel Francis and uncle Athol drove in her team's place after she became too ill to participate at the start.
Mr Francis told the Chronicle it was the best charity event he had ever been involved with.
"Dianne decided before she died, she'd like to do the Dunga Derby," he said.
Yesterday's welcome was the last official stop for the rally.
The derby is the major fund-raising event for local charity Rally for a Cause, which raises funds for Fraser Coast families and individuals with life-threatening medical conditions.
Teams participated in a 1800km drive to Glen Innes, NSW and back, riding through the NSW and Queensland hinterlands and resting in Killarney, Deepwater and Jondaryan.
The drive consisted of perilous water crossings and a hill that ascended for 8km with an 800m elevation.
A Rally for a Cause spokeswoman told the Chronicle about $176,000 had been raised in the week leading up to the event, with the count still taking place.