THE good-hearted spirit immortalised by 1976 film The Gumball Rally which struck a chord with road rally enthusiasts has been unleashed again at the AGS Gumball Rally 2014, which started at Orsett Hall on Friday (27 June). The three day charity event sponsored by Leeds-based AGS Risk Solutions raised just short of £40,000 in 2013 and is aiming to double that figure this year. Since its launch the rally has become a highlight in the fundraising calendar for the insurance industry and an opportunity for businesses countrywide to enjoy a good challenge.
Over the weekend, cars of a minimum age of 20 years old were driven to their limits in a marathon loop through Europe leaving from Orsett, Essex travelling through France, Belgium, Germany and back. The money raised will be donated to AGS’ three chosen charities: The Rainbow Trust, St Luke’s Hospice and Papyrus.
AGS is one of the UK’s leading risk solutions and asset recovery firms – working with clients across sectors as diverse as banking, insurance, retail, telecommunications, legal services, gaming and betting, and transport.
“The AGS Gumball Rally is a fantastic experience and is close to our hearts not only because it helps to raise so much money for worthwhile causes but because of the great atmosphere it creates for networking with others connected to our business,” says AGS Risk Solutions CEO, Mark Wilcox. “Lasting friendships and business relationships emerge from this event year after year and it’s one of the reasons it’s so successful.”
Participants are committed to raising a minimum of £2000 each and are clocking up individual vehicle sponsorship with every mile of the rally. There are cars taking part with drivers and passengers spanning businesses in the insurance, repairs, salvage, legal services, fraud detection and more. The route took drivers in a loop from Orsett, Essex, across the Channel and on to Cologne, before a return journey via Antwerp and back to the UK on Sunday. Adding to the competitive camaraderie, the vehicles entered in the rally should have a number plate dating them no more recently than 1994 or an ‘M’ plate for those who recall back that far.
“Everyone is united by the challenge of making it to the finish line in what are basically barely road worthy, clapped out old vehicles. Aside from raising much deserved funds for charity, our team is hoping to break a few records and have the customary Gumball fun along the way,” said Mark.
“This year’s level of support really underlines the excitement, cooperation and support the Gumball Rally generates. Everyone loves the sense of adventure that comes from taking part and the sense of achievement that comes from raising cash to care for people at a difficult time in their lives.”
The Rainbow Trust provides support for terminally ill children and families, St Luke’s Hospice offers specialist care for seriously ill people and Papyrus is dedicated to the prevention of young suicide.