With heavy hearts, organisers of Rotary Club of Dubbo South's biggest fundraising event have had to postpone the 2020 Destination Outback due to COVID-19.
The week long charity trek would have taken participants through rural and remote areas of Australia.
Trekkers would have started the trip in Tilpa, then to the Darling River to Mildura on the Victorian/NSW border and Birdsville before finishing in White Cliffs.
The bi-annual event has been running since 1990 and already looked to have had about 60 people interested in taking part this year.
2020 Event Director, George Richmond said postponing this year's fundraiser was a hard decision to make.
"We just had to make the call and cancel. We would not have been able to get into certain places, like Birdsville," he explained.
The Rotary Club of Dubbo South are now looking to make the 2021 event bigger and better with the same or similar route.
The event has raised much money for local charities within the Dubbo community, including the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
"It's pretty important event for our Rotary Club because we raise a lot of money that goes back into the community," Mr Richmond explained.
But with participants staying overnight in the towns they visit, the trek also provides a huge boost to rural economies, many of which are drought-affected.
Mr Richmond said during each trek they aim to use local organisations for things such as providing meals.
"This year it would have been a beautiful trip because there is water all the way down to the Murray River. It's a real shame," he said.
Destination Outback has become an important event on many participants calendar, with some taking part since it first started.
"It's sort of like a family.... most people will hopefully sign up if it fits in with their schedule," Mr Richmond said.
Brett McCarthy, president of the Rotary Club of Dubbo South said it doesn't matter how much planning you do for an activity, there are times when events occur that are outside your control.
"The Club was looking forward to visiting many small communities and injecting much needed funds into the local economies after a few tough years for some but we will now look at other ways to support our region," he said.
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