On Saturday 19th October 2019, 550 people in teams of two, will leave Melbourne in crazy cars worth less than $1,000 (aka shitboxes) to take part in Shitbox Rally 2019 Spring. Seven days later they will cross the finish line in Townsville, having travelled 3,614kms, successfully completing the largest independent fundraiser for Cancer Council nationally.
James Freeman who founded Box Rallies (Shitbox and Mystery Box Rally) after losing both of his parents to cancer within 12 months of each other said: “Our Spring rally is the second Shitbox Rally in our 10th year, so will be the final celebration rally of this year. The rally will travel through Western NSW and Queensland, an area ravaged by drought. The route was decided upon for this reason so we can help the local communities where possible with additional revenue into the townships and to help to inject some humour and smiles to help with morale. Our Autumn rally broke all fundraising records and with this Spring rally we are on the way to do the same.” said James.
With almost $21 million raised since the rallies began in 2009, the $2 million target for the Spring rally is well in sight with current fundraising totals at almost $1.8 million. Teams must raise a minimum of $5,000 to participate with some spending 10 months fundraising, sourcing their shitbox and dress ups and decorating their cars. Past rallies show that approximately 10% of cars simply won’t make it to the finish line.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is the pinnacle for vital funding for ground-breaking cancer research projects, but their budget only goes so far. The cancer researchers who miss out, get another chance at funding via Cancer Council grants. The impact of these projects has been felt right across Australia with many of the grants made possible by Box Rallies funding.
Previously, Box Rallies was able to fund multi-state research projects via Cancer Council grants. In 2019, Box Rallies & Cancer Council have taken a new approach – one that means Box Rallies will fund the most outstanding cancer research projects nationally.
Box Rallies will fund the next highest ranked grants after the NHMRC. This means that Box Rallies will fund some of the most exciting cancer research projects across the country – with the highest potential to significantly impact those affected by cancer.
The grants assessed during the 2019 application process will be awarded in March 2020 with the Cancer Council continuing to manage the overall funding process.
Box Rallies have contributed to many research projects including:
• Professor Susan Clark – The Kay Stubbs Project Grant: Exploring and Exploiting the Epigenetic Basis of Endocrine Resistant Breast Cancer
• Dr Mustafa Khasraw – VERTU – Veliparib, Radiotherapy and Temozolomide trial in Unmethylated MGMT Glioblastoma
• Professor Finlay Macrae – CAPP3: a randomized dose finding non inferiority study of aspirin to prevent cancer in Lynch Syndrome
• Associate Professor Manish Patel – Developing a Patient-Reported Symptom Index for Non-muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer
Box Rallies is thrilled to be in partnership with Bingle Insurance, Manheim Auctions Australia & Rally School Australia for the Shitbox Rally 2019 Spring.
Melbourne – Team Caddyshack
Ben from Team Caddyshack is participating in his first rally and driving a Ford Czervik said: “Shortly after my Dad died, I was left broken, angry and confused. I have had enough of Cancer. I am surrounded by it more today than I have ever been in my life. From relatives, friends, acquaintances and now my best mate. Losing Dad was so hard but watching the struggle of so many after that with a different perspective is so much harder. Dad was first then mum was diagnosed not long after with pancreatic cancer. Luckily for me, my mother is still fighting but the battle is getting harder and time is ticking.”
Queensland – Team Flaming Mongrels
Don from Team Flaming Mongrels driving a 1993 XG Ford Falcon Ute worth $600 said: “My father has had Prostate Cancer twice. He’s 84 now and probably wouldn’t be here without Cancer Councils research into discovering and dealing with Cancer. The standout feature of our car is the Alf Stewart bonnet. A local Airbrush artist, Christian Chapman, painted it for us and it looks amazing! We have very little mechanical knowledge, we can definitely change a tyre, but although we look under the bonnet and say a few different mechanical words we both know we have no idea what we’re talking about!”
Townsville – Team Cowboy Mob
Team Cowboy Mob, Al and Brad are driving a 1989 XJ6 Jaguar purchased for $1000 which has many problems including suspension and fuel usage. Only one window works, and you have to drive your knee into the door to open it. They would be very surprised if the car makes the distance. Their main reason for doing the rally is to do their part in raising funds for Cancer research, everybody has been touched by it in one way or another, through family, friends, or themselves.
Source: Press Release