Fiat-tastic finale for fundraising family

Danny D'Mello and his two children celebrate the end of their fundraising trip in their Fiat. (supplied) 405357_01

Cade Lucas

Wyndham Vale’s D’Mello family returned to a heroes welcome on Sunday April 28 after a two week Fiat-tastic fundraising trip for the palliative care unit at Werribee Mercy Hospital (WMH).

“We were welcomed by a few of the councillors, as well as the community and the people running the event which was amazing,” said Maria D’Mello of the reception when they pulled into the Kaleidoscope event at Point Cook Pop-up Park after driving to Sydney and back in their trusty Fiat.

Having raised nearly $9000 for the WMH palliative care unit where Ms D’Mello works, it was a welcome they certainly deserved, not that their fundraising efforts are finished just yet.

“We’re hoping to get to the $10,000 mark, that’s our goal,” she said of their fundraising page which is still open.

Along with raising money, Maria, her husband Danny and two children also connected with communities across Victoria,NSW and the ACT, spending two nights each in places such as Lakes Entrance, Merrimbula and Canberra.

The slower pace not only helped with fundraising efforts but also gave their Fiat, clad in the colours of the Italian flag, a much needed rest.

“We didn’t push it more than two hours in one day and we had regular stops,” said Ms D’Mello.

Less time stuck in the the car also helped their two kids who missed school to tag along.

“We tried to make it as educational as possible for them. They learned so much about Australia and all the different towns,” said their mother, before conceding: “don’t get me wrong there was fighting in the back.”

The D’Mello’s and the Fiat Car Club of Victoria are planning another fundraising drive to Adelaide and back next year.