Troy Dodds is about to set off on the camping trip of a lifetime.

Filling in for WILL CONYERS

I could have spent an entire column talking about the name of the new Vegemite but it seems Kraft has already given it the flick, perhaps the conclusion of one of the great marketing stunts in recent memory.

This time next week I will be on the road as part of the Great Escape Rally, which raises awareness and money for Cystic Fibrosis Australia.

I’ve never put up a tent, never spent any time in the outback and the only dust I’ve seen is the stuff that covered my car a few Wednesdays ago. So yes, I’m in for one hell of a time.

Our trustworthy driver in Car 74, Owen Stephenson, has approved of me taking a laptop and mobile phone but he’s put the red pen through my Playstation, LCD television and beer fridge.

How will the Pure Blondes be kept cold?

While we will have plenty of fun, there is a very serious side to the event and we have been feverishly raising funds and awareness in preparation for the trip, which departs Penrith Markets on Sunday morning.

Cystic Fibrosis is the most common genetic disease suffered by Australian children, and the rally helps fund the Cystic Fibrosis National Data Registry and support services.

At present, there is no cure for Cystic Fibrosis but the faulty gene has been identified and doctors and scientists are working hard to find ways to rid us of this terrible problem.

Owen Stephenson, who has done half a dozen of these rally events, has yet to be informed that I am the planet’s worst back seat driver – no need to panic him, yet.

One thing is for sure, it will be an experience to remember.

We are heading to Wagga Wagga, Hillston, Tilpa, Tibooburra, the Dig Tree, Thargomindah, Noorama, Camp Cypress, Mount Seaview and Port Macquarie and I am in no doubt I will see parts of Australia that will stick in the memory bank forever.

I’d like to thank those in Penrith and also in the theatre community who have already supported the event this year in various ways and encourage you all to pop down to the Markets on Sunday, October 11 at about 10am to see us off and help raise some funds.

Any ‘helpful’ advice such as how to deal with snakes and spiders would be best left at home.

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