Bill and Nyree Schmidt and daughter Michelle are ready to tackle the four-day Dunga Derby in Car 30, Dungatoons.Photo: Alistair Brightman
Bill and Nyree Schmidt and daughter Michelle are ready to tackle the four-day Dunga Derby in Car 30, Dungatoons.Photo: Alistair Brightman

Bay family jump on board the dunga journey

LOCAL people lending a hand to other local families in need with a few good laughs along the way …

For the Schmidt family, that's what taking part in the 2020 Dunga Derby is all about.

Dad, Bill, will tackle the four-day adventure for the second time while his wife, Nyree, and 24-year-old daughter Michelle will get behind the wheel of Car 30 for their first dunga experience.

For this eager Dungatoons team, the rally start date of July 30 can't come quickly enough but, in between time, they want to take every opportunity to spread the dunga word.

The Dunga Derby is the biggest annual fundraiser for local charity Rally for a Cause, which usually attracts about 55 teams and over 200 people.

But in a once-off event, this year's Dunga Derby will see double the fun and have twice the impact with the inaugural Sunshine Coast Dunga Derby meeting up with the Fraser Coast crew along the way.

Since its inception in 2015, the teams have raised over $1 million, helped close to 100 families and raised thousands of dollars for people doing it tough in communities they visit, simply by throwing donations into a hat.

Mr Schmidt encourages anyone thinking about signing up to just go for it.

You won't be disappointed, he said.

"It's a great dunga family and it's just incredible how everyone works together," Mr Schmidt said.

"It's a different community … everyone is happy to help.

"One of the main things we love about it is that 100 percent of the money goes to the Fraser Coast and you don't get that from many other charities."

The kind of comradery you find in the dunga family and the fun and frivolity you have along the way just can't be replicated, Mr Schmidt explained.

"You definitely have to do it to experience what it's like, it's just so much fun.

"If someone breaks down, everyone is in to help. Nobody gets left behind.

"It doesn't matter where we end up or where we go, no-one is stuck, no-one gets left behind.

"It's not a race. It's more of an orientation course so it's not on time trials, and this is what I love about it … everyone is there to have fun, enjoy it and get to be with some great people and have a good laugh."

If getting behind the wheel of a Dunga isn't for you, there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved, with the teams holding a variety of fundraising events over the next seven months.

The Dungatoons team have already got their fundraising ball rolling by hosting sausage sizzles at the Reuse and Recycle Centre in Nikenbah every Tuesday from 7.30am to 1.30pm.

This year's Dunga Derby will be held from Thursday, July 30 to Sunday, August 2.

To sign up a Dunga Derby team or to find out more about the rally, visit rallyforacause.org.au to see the difference the charity is making, or to nominate a person or family.