Is it possible for gear heads to do something good with their obsession of all things automotive?
For a group called Rally North America, they think it is. Every year, over a hundred car-nuts gather together and ‘rally’ across the back-roads of North America, but, unlike other high profile, high price transcontinental road rallies; this one wants to benefit us all.
Established in the winter of 2009, Rally North America Charities (RNA) is a not-for-profit organization, aimed at bringing automotive enthusiasts from all over the United States and Canada together to indulge in their love of driving long and far. Designed for the ‘average Joe’, entry into a Rally North America event costs a hundred dollars instead of tens of thousands.
Each rally organized by Rally North America carries a common idea, ‘driving for a cause’. RNA believes that by combining the love of the automotive lifestyle and a worthy charity organization, it is possible to do something “good” through the automotive hobby. Rally North America is proud to state that their events have risen over $100,000 in direct donations to charity in just three years of existence.
FEEL GOOD FUN
Unlike other reckless road rallies, Rally North America participants are required to provide a professional and respectful representation of themselves to all communities they visit. In other words – no being a jackass and ruining the fun for everyone else. RNA requires all participants to follow the rules of the road and be courteous to the drivers with whom they are sharing it with at all times. This doesn’t mean the event is a boring drive as organizers always try to find the most fun and interesting roads along the way and, of course, a few racing venues are thrown in here and there to allow participants to blow-off steam and settle friendly grudge matches.
This week, they are at it again. Eighty plus sports cars, muscle machines, and other unique rides will spend three and a half days searching for secret check points at incredible places throughout Upper New York State, New England and Canada. Called Rally New England 2013, 85 teams of two or more people will visit over twenty locations, three racing venues, and of course, one hell of a great end of rally party in Saint John Canada.
RALLYING FOR CAMP SUNSHINE
This year, RNA has chosen Camp Sunshine as their charity of choice. Camp Sunshine supports children with life threatening illnesses and their families. The camp has the distinction of being the only program in the nation whose mission is to address the impact of a life threatening illness on every member of the immediate family—the ill child, the parents, and the siblings. Since its inception, Camp Sunshine has provided a haven for over 30,000 individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Once again I’ll be joining the crew of Rally North America for Rally New England. Teamed up with Chevrolet Canada, I’ll be driving a 2013 Camaro ZL1 convertible through four states and two countries. Although a 580 hp supercharged pony car isn’t exactly needed for a rally that is all about navigation and careful planning, you can blame me for wanted to cruise in this monster?
STARTING AT ITHACA, NY
Beginning this afternoon at Watkins Glen International Raceway, the rally teams will take two paced laps around the famed racing venue before heading off to Ithaca, New York for the official rally start at 7:30 am Tuesday July 23rd in the Ithaca Commons. From there, the teams will travel to Rutland, Vermont that night, Camp Sunshine in Casco, Maine on July 24th, and finish in Saint John, N.B. on the 25th.
If you wish to make a donation to this worthy cause, you can do so here.
All rally sponsors have made direct donations to Camp Sunshine and RNA would like to thank CJ Pony Parts, Carlisle Events, AutoGeek.net, Monster Energy Drinks, Rich Brannon’s Auto Value Parts Store, Hagerty Collector Car Insurance, Dermal Addictions Tattoo & Piercings, StimpyGato.net, PhillipsHIDkit.com, Real Deal Brazil, and Penn Tech Deployments.