Locals rally to raise 10k
PROSERPINE local Mick Murtagh will retire after 44 years in the panel beating business and operating McDowell's Panel Works since 1991, just a few days after returning from the 2018 Great Endeavour Rally.
The four Whitsunday men raised more than $10,000 to drive 4,000km for the event.
The event raises money for the Endeavour Foundation which supports people with disabilities by providing specially designed houses for independent living and the local team have more than tripled what they raised last year in their inaugural participation.
Mechanically-minded 'Old Bulls' Mick Murtagh, Blair Hall, Anthony Friederichs, and Blake Hall have spent the last six weeks preparing the 1971 HQ Station Wagon to take on the rally's bitumen and four-wheel drive tracks this month.
The money raised has come from the mens' family, friends and customers across the community will go towards the charity with the men covering their own registration costs.
"We were so surprised by the response from the community in supporting us. We had a bit of a late start, so to raise $10,000 is fantastic,” Blair said.
"We would like to thank all of the people who have donated and supported us and especially our wives who haven't seen much of us in the lead-up.
"The first time we took part we didn't know much about the Endeavour Foundation or the work they do, but having toured with them now we are sticking with them because they provide affordable and liveable housing to people with disabilities.”
The rally car originated from a family in Emerald who themed the car 'Mad Cow' for another rally drive and has since been re-homed and re-named with a silvery pair of nut sacks hanging off the back tow bar.
Their fundraising efforts will see the Old Bulls start from sixth position in the rally as opposed to their previous twenty-third grid start to finish eighth.
And they have their eye on the first prize this year - "it's just who we are,” according to Mick.
The rally starts on the Gold Coast on June 15 and will finish in Yamba on June 23, taking a different course to the one last year, stopping to visit schools and towns along the way.
Heading off from Proserpine next Thursday, the men will rotate seats and take turns driving, navigating and resting for around 10 hours each day.