WITH every fundraising event held, every car modification made and every kilometre travelled on the annual Dunga Derby, the 53 teams involved do it all to help Fraser Coast families who are going through extraordinarily hard times.

Run under the charity Rally for a Cause, the annual event is now in its third year and was started in 2015 by local businessmen and women who wanted to make a difference.

Everyone involved has now raised over $300,000 and assisted 20 inspirational Fraser Coast families like Amanda and Michael Christensen, who lost their six-year-old son Cooper to a rare brain cancer, just three weeks before the first rally was set to leave Hervey Bay.

Cooper is now a face of the Dunga Derby, which will leave the Hervey Bay RSL car park at 7am tomorrow morning and will return to Hervey Bay on Sunday after travelling over 1500km.

Founder and rally organiser Mick Irwin from Surveyors @ Work described the Dunga teams as "just amazing", with each car required to raise a minimum of $2000 through fundraising events and sponsorship - some gained from suppliers from all around Queensland.

Plus, covering the cost of buying the cars, getting them in a roadworthy state and adding modifications like all terrain tyres, flashing lights, off-road suspension and stickers and logos.

The ‘Road Hog’ had some fun navigating some rocky terrain while testing out this year’s secret Dunga Derby route recently.
The ‘Road Hog’ had some fun navigating some rocky terrain while testing out this year’s secret Dunga Derby route recently.

He said the four-day coast-to-country adventure was a great way to say thank you to the teams for their extraordinary efforts.

"I never thought how much the Dunga Derby would raise and I'm so amazed that some of the teams could earn so much. Some teams have raised in excess of $20,000 and that is just amazing," Mr Irwin said.

"We created this fun event for all the hard work that the teams have done and to give them a really great experience.

"The teams are absolutely amazing with how they get into it - doing up their cars, dressing up and making it fun for everyone.

"We are doing this for the recipients but we are also giving back something to our entrants as well."

The all-girl team in Car 10, the Katastrophy Wives - made up of Kerry Spencer, Gaye Cullen, Helen Hinton and Joy Beacham - raised $10,000 last year and are hoping to reach the $20,000 mark this year.

"Last year we did it in an old borrowed Jeep, but this year we have spent a lot of time and put a lot of work into fixing up an old 1976 Valiant - she's now hot pink and has been named Lady Penelope," Mrs Spencer said.

"We had a goal this year to raise $20,000 for Rally for a Cause... we've got some great sponsors and also held three fundraising events this year - the Tuff Dunga Mud Run, Bogan Bingo and a High Tea.

"As much fun as doing the rally is, it's seeing where the money goes that really gives you that great sense of community."

All the spills and thrills of the rally will be revealed when the teams arrive home on Sunday, August 3 and travel from the Urangan end of the Esplanade down to Seafront Oval for a special Home Coming event.

From 12 noon, there will be entertainment, jumping castles, face painting for the kids and a Rotary barbecue.

The Dunga cars are expected to arrive at the oval at about 12.30pm to have lunch and mingle with the crowd.

Some final formalities on stage will conclude the event at about 2pm.

The next big event on the Dunga Derby calender will be the highly anticipated presentation night on August 25 at the Hervey Bay RSL, where the final figure of this year's efforts will be announced, the highest fundraising team will be awarded for their efforts and some of the Rally for a Cause recipients will share their inspiring stories.

Dunga Facts

  • Hyne Timber are the major sponsors of Rally for a Cause. There are four Dunga Derby Rally partners including the Hervey Bay RSL, Woollam Constructions, The Beach House Hotel and McDonalds Maryborough.
  • All funds raised stay in the Fraser Coast community.
  • As an original founder, Surveyors @ Work have Cars number 1 and 2.
  • There will be a new prize awarded this year for the team who raised the most money from out of town by way of sponsorship from out-of-town businesses and suppliers.
  • On the Dunga Derby, there are six support vehicles, a mechanic, a medic, lead car, pace car, tail-end car and one car with "camp bums" who get to the destinations first to set-up and make sure it's all tidy when they leave.
  • Friday is dress-up night, with prizes for the best dressed team.