Fundraising totals for Shitbox and Mystery Box Rally (Box Rallies) have reached over $20 million for Cancer Council. This record-breaking total comes just 10 years after Shitbox Rally launched, and follows the epic 10thannual Shitbox Rally that travelled from Perth to Sydney over ten days in May this year.
Proudly Cancer Council’s biggest national fundraiser, Shitbox Rally challenges teams of two to drive a car worth less than $1k (aka a ‘shitbox’) across Australia’s dusty outback roads for a week. Whereas for Mystery Box Rally, teams of two must pack their belongings into a car 25 years or older and drive thousands of kilometres over five days with maps of that day’s destination only distributed each morning.
When founder James Freeman launched the rally in 2009, he wanted to find a way to fight for cancer victims and sufferers after losing both his mother and father to cancer in quick succession.
With 20 rallies completed to date, it has clearly been a winning formula of hard work, fun and fundraising with participants testing themselves physically, emotionally and spiritually.
James said “I am extremely proud of all participants from our rallies over the last decade to reach this milestone. $20 million raised in 10 years is extraordinary given these were the first 10 years of running our rallies. To average $2 million per year knowing the first year we raised $104,000 shows the growth and support we and the teams have been given by the wider community. The funds have had a big impact on the Cancer Council and the support they have been able to give to their amazing national researchers. The work we have been able to fund is having a direct impact on living with and fighting cancer.”
Box Rallies has helped fund over 24 Cancer Council research projects since 2010 with some life-changing outcomes, including:
• Testing new drug combinations for pancreatic cancer
• Preventing people with immune deficiencies from developing lymphoma
• Finding new compounds to target the deadliest type of malignant brain tumour
• Identifying a treatment to block the development and spread of neuroblastoma cells
• Identifying a treatment to block the development and spread of neuroblastoma cells and for the therapy of untreatable neuroblastoma – the most prevalent solid tumour in early childhood
Jeff Mitchell, CEO, Cancer Council NSW said: “We are incredibly grateful to James and the Box Rallies team for their contribution to funding Cancer Council’s lifesaving research. Reaching the $20 million milestone is testament to the commitment of rally participants year on year.
“I was lucky enough to take part in the 10th Shitbox Rally this May, alongside a team of our own Cancer Council researchers and many other dedicated ‘ralliers’ to see their passion and enthusiasm firsthand.”
It has been a massive 2019 for Box Rallies with Shitbox Rally Autumn breaking all fundraising expectations in May. Mystery Box Rally is due to start in Byron Bay on August 17 and for the first time a second Shitbox Rally will occur in the same year with Shitbox Rally Spring scheduled to leave Melbourne on October 17, 2019 bound for Townsville via Birdsville.