This year’s Beyond Bitumen car rally has successfully raised more than $500,000 for Beyond Blue, with support from the Tahmoor Inn, the Bay Hotel Motel in Bonnells Bay, and the Australian Hotel in Young.

The annual car rally began in Gundagai on 11 April, travelling through Echuca, Griffith, and Young before reaching Goulburn on 15 April. Among the rally participants was Car Two, which was sponsored by the three hotels. Owned by separate families and groups, the publicans came together for the common goal of supporting the Beyond Bitumen rally. Car Two raised $6,260, an impressive increase from previous years.

The Bay Hotel Motel’s Anthony Cullen expressed his gratitude for those who supported Car Two.

“Thank you to everyone for your support. There were no problems with the car this year, and we made it,” he said.

Jamie Canellis, owner of the Australian Hotel and Sarah Hanania, general manager and licensee of the Tahmoor Inn, both expressed their appreciation for the Beyond Bitumen supporters.

“There are people in our communities that experience blue days and they often come into the pub to talk about things going on in their life. It was great to be involved and support Car Two in the Beyond Bitumen Car Rally because the funds are going towards Beyond Blue which gives professional help when they need more than a pub yarn,” Hanania said.

A highlight of the car rally was the blue tree in Quamby Lane, which greeted cars driving towards Young. Part of the international Blue Tree Project, painted trees like the one in Young are now visible in every continent except Antarctica, serving both as symbols of hope and catalysts for conversations about mental health.

The success of the Beyond Bitumen car rally is proof of the power of community engagement in mental health awareness and support. The pubs that have contributed to the event have not only raised money for Beyond Blue but also shown their support for those struggling with mental health and started important conversations.

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