SleepX sponsors team in Mystery Box Rally raising funds for the Cancer Council

Picture this.

Around 140 teams driving their own 25+ year old ‘rust-buckets’ along a mystery route over five days.

No AWD, 4WD, buses, vintage or veteran cars and no dogs allowed. Just old cars hitting dirt roads out of Byron Bay. The route is a loop starting and finishing from one location.

Apart from the starting location, all the other details are kept under wraps and their destination is only given to the teams each morning.

And all for a good cause.

rally car

About the Mystery Box Rally

The Mystery Box Rally is an annual event that raises much needed funds for cancer research. Its founder, James Freeman, started the fundraiser after losing both his mum and dad to cancer.

It’s touted as being the largest community-based fundraiser for the Cancer Council in Australia.  Over the last nine years, the Mystery Box Rally and the Shitbox Rally have raised over $17 million for cancer research.

The rallies also contribute thousands of dollars to the economies of regional and remote towns.

The latest rally was held on August 17 to 21 2019.

 SleepX backs rally team

This year, SleepX sponsored one of the teams - aptly named Shake N Bake - to help them raise money for the Cancer Council.

The Shake N Bake team were Ed Hayes and Sasha Milanovic. The boys were driving their 1989 Camry Wagon which had been driven by another team in last year’s Rally.

“With almost 450,000 kms on the clock and a bit of minor maintenance, our ‘trusty Toyota’ was ready and raring to go for the big event”, Ed proudly explained.

Both Ed and Sasha had very personal reasons for joining the Rally. In Ed’s case, his father, Dr Robert Alexander Hayes, had died from glioblastoma brain tumour in 2011.

“Not long after my dad passed away, I found out about the ShitBox Rally. I had pretty much been on the waiting list since and was very happy to be accepted into the Mystery Box Rally.”

Sasha’s father, Sladjan Milanovic, had also passed away suddenly two years ago.

“One of his passions was his work with various Medical Research institutes, and in particular, those doing cancer research. His previous employer, a biomedical organisation, established an award for engineering excellence in his name,” explained Sasha.

Sasha was keen to support the work that his father was passionate about.

rally team sasha ed

An amazing fundraising achievement for Shake N Bake

Not only did Ed and Sasha complete the rally, they raised more than $8,000!

According to Ed, “We have had some amazing donations from incredible friends and family members. Everyone was on board with raising money and supporting us on the journey.

“We also had some fantastic sponsors who went above and beyond in donations, support and rally prep. We can’t thank everyone enough! Our fundraising target was $5,000, and even before we started, we’d fundraised $8,300.

“To us it was more than just a rally. I won't be forgetting it anytime soon that's for sure!”

Needless to say, after five days of bouncing around dirt roads, the Shake N Bake rally team were ready for a good night’s sleep.

 rally car sunset


The Sydney Morning Herald, January 7, 2012, Backer without a VoiceA story about Ed Hayes’ dad Robert

The Australian Law Reform Commission website, December 12, 2011, Vale Robert Alexander Hayes (1942-2011)

Western Sydney University website, The Robert Hayes Memorial Fund – providing funds for scholarships to outstanding students with a passion for studying law but who need a helping hand to get them on their way