Deni teams help raise $150,000 in car rally

By Olivia Duffey

Four Deniliquin teams have helped raise almost $150,000 for district health charities as part of the third annual Hay Rust ‘n’ Dust Outback Rally.

The main beneficiaries of the rally are CanAssist, Angel Flight and Cancer Research Australia.

CanAssist branches will share in $65,268, with $45,000 going to Hay, $7455 to Deniliquin, $4060 to Coleambally and $8753 to Griffith.

Angel Flight will receive $27,500, Cancer Council - Western Division will get $28,400 and Hay Community Health Trust will get $28,500.

Amounts may change slightly as donations continue to roll in.

The 1800km trek started and ended in Hay, with the destinations in between including Hermidale, Lightning Ridge and Tottenham between November 29 to December 2.

The four local teams included: The Flintstones Affair comprising Leesa Muir, Ash Gray and Jody Wallace; two Deniliquin NSW Fire & Rescue teams of Bill Muirhead with ‘Macca’ Oddy and Les Booth with Ben Purtill; and Rod Priest and Neville Lowry.

There were 33 participating cars in total, and six support vehicles.

Mr Booth was a first time participant this year, and said he is keen to go back again next year.

‘‘It was fantastic,’’ he said.

‘‘Seeing the smile on people’s faces and the laughter was definitely a highlight as well as the friendships you made and raising money for several good causes.

‘‘I think the funds will be a great help and they are spread over quite a few charities which is great.

‘‘And they are all regional, supporting rural communities.

‘‘I'll put my hand up next year, I thoroughly enjoyed the rally,’’ he said.