Mystery Box Rally's Spirit of the Rally award won by Dubbo team

Dubbo’s Jason McCoy and Darrin Edwards didn’t think they stood a chance of winning an award determined by fellow participants in a rally raising big bucks for cancer research.

But they were wrong.

A majority of the 150 teams or 300 participants in the 2017 Mystery Box Rally picked the DubVegas Duo team to receive the Spirit of the Rally award.

It is considered one of the “most-prized awards” of the rally that this year left Dubbo on November 25 and returned five days later after visiting Tilpa, Cameron Corner, Wanaaring and Glengarry Hilton.

The Spirit of the Rally award goes to the team that “best epitomises what the fundraising rally is all about including celebrating life, supporting others, getting involved and watching out for each other”.

The Dubbo team has also been named the fifth highest fundraiser of the 2017 rally after handing over $12,522. On Thursday the rally’s teams from across Australia had raised about $713,000 with the figure expected to grow as they deposited final donations.

“Our high fundraising goal would not have been reached without the support of awesome local businesses and one as far away as Mildura,” Mr McCoy said.

Mr McCoy, 39, owner of JMac Bodyworks, and Mr Edwards, 38, an Essential Energy manager, received their award at a post-rally function at the Garden Hotel.

“We were shocked and then absolutely stoked,” Mr McCoy said. “It was bittersweet as I have a family member battling severe cancer at the moment and we were just so proud to do it for her and to have been a part of such a great event and cause.”

The rally, founded by Adelaide’s James Freeman after the death of his parents from cancer within 12 months, places teams in “buddy groups”. “The mateships formed on the rally will last forever,” Mr McCoy said. “We had an awesome buddy group.  Everyone on the rally had a story and many of those were shared which makes you appreciate life.”

The Mystery Box Rally is part of Box Rallies, the leading independent fundraiser for Cancer Council nationally. To date they have raised almost $12.8 million.