Dynamic duo breaks Shitbox Rally record

Dynamic duo breaks Shitbox Rally record

Two Lucindale locals have teamed up to raise a record-breaking amount of money for an important cause through a fun-filled fundraiser.

Shannon Burdett and Erin McWaters raised $105,750 for the Cancer Council by driving from Port Douglas in Queensland to Adelaide in October for the Spring 2023 Shitbox Rally.

Burdett and McWaters joined 227 other cars worth less than $1500 as they drove across some of the nation’s most formidable roads behind the wheel of 1990s AU Ford Falcon ‘Sherlee’.

The pair took over as the Lucindale Survivors from Rohan Giles and Andrew Wilkes who competed in the Autumn 2021 Shitbox Rally following the unfortunate return of Giles’ cancer last year.

The ladies raised the most money in the 13-year history of the event with the previous record holders raising $102,000 in 2021 to beat out Giles and Wilke’s $70,000 total leaving them as runner up record holders at the time.

The women raised money through fundraisers including a goods and services auction, lamb drive, cocktail party, golf day and meat tray raffles.

McWaters said their biggest fundraiser was the goods and services auction which raised around $26,000.

“It pretty much snowballed really, we thought we would do a few events and then the funds kind of came at us thick and fast,” she said.

Burdett said another successful fundraiser was the lamb drive which raised $11,800.

“We just asked farmers around the district if they would donate one or two lambs each and we ended up with 68 lambs,” she said.

“We put the word out and we had people donate hay and grain and a paddock to put them in so we put them on grain for eight weeks and sent them off to market.”

Lucindale Nutrien livestock agent Macolm Graetz ran the lamb drive which he organised, collected, fed, watered and transported the sheep.

Burdett said she was very emotional to discover during the rally at the Birdsville Hotel the pair had beaten the previous fundraising record.

“I basically did not speak, I just stared at Erin and started crying,” she said.

“We went over the record while we were on the rally and the rally was quite emotional because you meet a lot of people that have been affected by cancer.

“Lucindale is such a good little community and for everyone to rally around and support us as much as they have is just absolutely amazing.

“This lady turned to me and she said ‘Shannon that $100,000 saved my life’.

“Knowing you have a made a difference to even just one person is life-changing.”

McWaters said it was a generous act of kindness from fellow Spring 2023 Shitbox Rally participants that broke the record.

“It was quite emotional because the amount that got put in to tip us over the record was actually donated by people on the rally,” McWaters said.

“They had already done so much fundraising for their own team and to put a significant amount onto our tally instead of their own fundraising tally pretty much sums up what the whole rally was like.

“Every single team and support crew and everyone on the rally just got around you and everyone was so excited and so thankful for what each other had raised.”

The drivers described the rally as “incredible” and unbelievable”.

Prior to the event Ms McWaters said the women knew how to change a tyre which came in handy on the first day.

“The only other issue we had was the hand break clamped on between Winton and Windurra which was probably the worst road so we just cut the cable and kept going,” Burdett said.

“The scenery was vast; we went through the rainforest, red dirt, white dirt, the Flinders Ranges, beautiful gorges and magnificent gums.

“We have met some pretty awesome people along the way that have are fighters.”

Burdett and McWaters were presented with plastic trophies on the final day for being the biggest fundraisers.

“It was a bit embarrassing but when you have 500 awesome people around you, cheering you on, you cannot help but grin like a Cheshire cat,” Burdett said.

The Lucindale Survivors will hit the road again from Adelaide to Perth in April for the 2024 Autumn Shitbox Rally.

“I want to do it again because it makes you want to keep supporting people, keep helping and keep doing what you can even if it is only a little bit,” Burdett said.

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