Willaston pair prepare to tackle the top end – on a budget

Willaston pair Amanda Smith and Darren Enemy will take their $850 Ford AU Falcon from McKay to Darwin to raise money for the Cancer Council. PHOTO: Sam Bradbrook

A SEVEN-DAY road trip across the top end would usually require a certain level of comfort, but Willaston residents Darren Emeny and Amanda Smith will tackle the challenge behind the wheel of a lemon.

The pair are participating in the Cancer Council’s S***box Rally, a fundraising event where participants drive a car, purchased for less than $1000, on a week-long road trip from McKay to Darwin.

Originally scheduled to take place this year, the event has been postponed until Spring 2021, with Ms Smith and Mr Emeny, who have nicknamed their team “Blazin’ Balls”, are required to raise at least $5000 before their road trip begins.

Mr Emeny discovered the rally while working in Port Augusta eight years ago, but is now participating in the fundraiser for the first time.

“A car had rocked up next to me in the motel and it was all decorated and I thought ‘what’s this about?’” he said.

“I had never heard of it before. Over the years I’ve kept an eye on it, they actually run three rallies a year now.

“It’s not a race, it’s just a matter of getting everyone from point A to point B.”

Earlier this year, Mr Emeny’s mother died after a two-year battle with three separate forms of cancer.

He dedicated his participation to his late mother and encouraged more people to get involved as “we all know someone affected by cancer in some way”.

“At the end of the day, if we can help out cancer research or any other families going through this horrible disease, it will be a very nice thing to do,” Mr Emeny said.

“Mum will be travelling with us and she’ll keep us safe – It’s a really great cause.”

The pair will be making the trip in an $850 Ford AU Falcon station wagon they found advertised on Gumtree and purchased from Spalding.

Despite some cosmetic blemishes, they have faith the car will complete the trip.

“The Cancer Council is a great foundation to support and we like the outdoors and adventure,” Ms Smith said. “If we can raise money along the way then that’s great.

“We were going to hold a quiz night to raise money, but COVID restrictions meant we couldn’t do that.

“The fires at the start of the year also made it challenging too.”

To support team “Blazin’ Balls”, businesses can pay $110, plus a donation of their choice, to have their name advertised on the AU Falcon and the event’s website.

Alternatively, businesses can provide $110 or more of in-kind support, such as in the form of goods or trade services to get their name on the car.

Specifically, the pair need to fit new tyres to the car and its radiator needs to be flushed.

To get in touch with the team, email (Blazinballs2020@gmail.com).

Sam Bradbrook


Sam Bradbrook joined The Bunyip in 2018 as a reporter and covers the Gawler, Playford and Adelaide Plains Council rounds. He graduated from the University of South Australia in the same year with a Bachelor of Journalism and Professional Writing and had previously interned at the Jakarta Post in Indonesia and The Courier in Mount Barker before moving to Gawler. In February of 2020, Sam was named the Young Journalist of the Year for 2019 by Country Press South Australia. He is interested in reporting on politics, healthcare, police and social issues and outside of work has a passion for sport and music.

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