AN entourage of motor vehicle enthusiasts will head over the mountain and land on the Mid North Coast this weekend (May 29-30) on the 2021 HireExpress Beyond Bitumen Rally supporting charity Beyond Blue.
The cars are travelling some 1300km in four days, winding their way through Muswellbrook, Aberdeen, Ellerston, Nundle, Tamworth, Manilla, Barraba, Bundarra, Armidale, Wollomombi, Bellbrook, Kempsey, Crescent Head, Port Macquarie, Harrington, Wingham, and Forster.
The purpose of the rally is to raise funds for the Way Back Support Service.
This year 190 rally participants in 76 cars are ready to hit the road.
Event director Peter Fehon and the team expect to have raised at least $300,000 for Beyond Blue. The rally is the largest single fundraising event for the charity.
Rally crews will arrive in Kempsey on Sunday, May 30 for a barbecue lunch at the golf club with the Rotary Club of Kempsey West.
After refuelling, teams will hit the road and head south to Port Macquarie for a stopover and the rally's highlight event, an awards night and auction dinner at Sails.
"This is the highlight of the event and gives us a chance to focus on why we are all involved in the rally, and what it means to us personally," Peter said.
The rally will follow the coast road south and finish in Forster on Monday afternoon.
To donate to the rally and support Beyond Blue, go to beyond-bitumen.raisely.com.
Peter has spent endless hours arranging a course that follows dirt roads to the daily destinations.
Since the event's establishment in 2015, the total funds raised have already exceeded $1.6 million.
Peter, who is an experienced 4WDer, and his wife Trish who drives in her own rally car, are experienced fundraisers having supported various causes all their adult lives.
They have worked on multiple fundraising events including the Royal Flying Doctor Outback Car Treks. Each one of these events has raised over $1 million for "The Doctor".
Their support for the Beyond Blue charity was tragically borne from personal experience. In 2005, their beautiful daughter Beth succumbed to depression.
"When she took her own life in February 2005 our world changed forever," the couple shared.
"In fact it felt like it stopped for a long time. What followed was months of desperate searching for an answer to that elusive unanswerable question - why?
"That question was never answered and no doubt never will. We have come to the conclusion that there is no answer. Probably Beth didn't even really know why.
"Depression is an illness and all too often it's fatal."
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