THE Riverina Redneck Rally is on the horizon once more and the Echuca team is back behind the wheel.
This time it’s not only about raising money for a good cause, because the race organisers have sweetened the pot.
The team which earns the most for Country Hope Charity will secure its home town the honour of being the finish line for the 2021 rally.
Echuca’s Team LaidBack is in with a shot, considering its reputation as great fundraisers – in 2018 they won the trophy for most money raised.
Currently the two-man team is sitting in 12th place on the leader board and members admitted they were “off the pace”, but Daryl ‘Drac’ Russell and Paul Sattler have a few things up their sleeves.
One of those things was a poker run pub-crawl and auction night which attracted a 40+ strong convoy of cars, utes and motorbikes and raised more than $6000 last weekend.
“It was basically mates of mates coming together from word of mouth,” Drac said of the poker rally.
“We started at the American Hotel which has supported us very well, then we went to Torrumbarry, Lockington and back to the Falcon Hotel, so we were looking after the little local pubs too.”
Once the $6000 is added to Team LaidBack’s current total of $5400 the team will shoot up to fourth place.
The poker run was followed by a night-time party and the auctioning of donated items.
One of the most eye-catching cars in the poker run belonged to Craig Waldock.
Driving all the way from Geelong in his Ford Falcon 1988 ute, Craig was a big supporter of his friend’s charity hobby.
“People have come from everywhere driving old cars to raise interest – the vibe of everyone has been amazing,” Craig said.
Craig, his wife and daughter went around to every Echuca-Moama op shop before the poker rally and bought out all their stuffed toys. Those in good condition were donated to the charity auction and the more worn were kept as ute ornaments.
Like a true car enthusiast, Craig met Drac when he bought a car off the Echuca man.
“Craig’s been really helpful, he’s only gotten to know us in the last two months and loves the fact we are raising money for the kids, so he turned up in a ute on the weekend and went around making people aware the event was on,” Drac said.
“To pull $6000 out of the weekend has been great.”
Fundraising closes on March 1, and donations can be made at https://www.mycause.com.au/page/206826/laidback