After months of fundraising for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, father and son team, Bruce and John Herdegen, are making their final preparations ahead of the 2017 Drovers Run.
The Chopper 04 No Matta-me team have now raised more than $23,000 for the service ahead of 14 days in the outback.
The 2017 Drovers Run will see 30 vehicles travel a total of 4300km during the fortnight from Tamworth through Tibooburra, the Flinders Ranges, Broken Hill and Menindee. So far they have raised over $110,000 for the Westpac Rescue Heicopter.
Sitting as the highest individual fundraisers for the 2017 run, John and Bruce said they were both looking forward to the trip.
John said he heard about the Drovers Run after taking part in the Tamworth to the Top weekend trip, which is run by the same organisers.
"I found out about the Drovers Run and thought it would be a good opportunity to see a bit of Australia as well as raising money for a service we see as vital for the local community," he said.
But, it's not Bruce and John that have done all the work, rather they say it's the local community.
With 58 major sponsors, who have each donated between $250 and $2000 to the cause, and numerous minor sponsors, the No matta-me team said they really appreciated the community support.
"We really want to thank everyone who has donated any amount of money. We are really proud of the local community for getting behind the cause, every dollar we have received helps," John said.
John and Bruce have been working hard to get their vehicle ready for the trip with a few minor upgrades. Two large banners thanking their major sponsors will hang on the sides of their vehicle.
"We wanted to thank the sponsors for helping us, it’s them who are donating the money, we're only the vehicle for them to donate to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter,” John said.
"It's the community that have given the donations and done the work, not us."
John said they were thankful to Craig from Sign Print and Stitch in Gunnedah for doing the artwork on the banner and the stickers for the ute.
Donations for the emergency service will continue to roll in while the team are away, with fundraising events planned along the way.
Country music performers Emma Dykes and Matt O'Leary are travelling with the group and will perform at a number of pre-organised events.
The Drovers Run leaves from Tamworth on July 29.
To donate to the No Matta-Me team, visit https://www.gofundme.com/2017-drovers-run/donate and use John Herdegen as the reference.