An additional 2000 kids in outback South Australia will have access to dental care thanks to this year’s KidzFix Rally.
Dubbo’s David Ward is in his fourth rally, which this year takes in disparate landscapes from Broken Hill to Port Augusta, Clare, Victor Harbour and Mt Gambier.
“It’s a pretty amazing achievement,” David said of the $47,500 donation for dental outreach. “It will be the first time some of these kids and teenagers have seen a dentist.
“The amount of other diseases and heart problems that can come from having poor dental hygiene … it’s something we do take for granted.”
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This year’s rally is particularly special for David; he and brother Andrew are travelling in a Subaru brumby ute named ‘Errol’ for their late father.
“Andrew and I haven’t spent this much time in a car together since we were kids on holidays about 30 years ago,” he said.
“Obviously different conversations, and the brothers having banter, but it’s really good.
“I’m amazed by the generosity of my sponsors and the support out of Dubbo year in, year out,” David added.
“It’s hugely humbling to see people support such a great cause.”
As always, the “amazing country” the cars have covered has been a highlight.
Drivers were in awe crossing the mouth of the Murray River, a sheer contrast to the scene of last year’s rally in northern NSW and southern Queensland, where some of that water originates.
“We’re in very different country compared to where we were last year but everyone we talk to, the farmers say it’s the worst they’ve seen in generations,” David said of the drought.
“In the Flinders Ranges but then down into the Clare Valley and McLaren Vale, talking to locals it’s the worst in 70 years for them, even though it seems really green here!
“There’s very late, small barley and canola crops getting around, there isn’t much of a crop happening at all.”
Two of this year’s participants – dressed as Star Wars characters the Storm Troopers – have been another highlight.
Known only as Joe and George, the pair in Car 17 have been visiting kids in hospitals along the way.
“We’ve seen some amazingly resilient kids,” David said.
“One kid who doesn’t communicate much, he was very hesitant when these two Storm Troopers turned up at his bed.
“But he was wearing a Star Wars shirt and one of the guys leaned into him and said ‘hey mate, you’re one of us’. It was one of the only times in about two years when he’s communicated more than just grunts.”