Get ready for the White Hat Rally

With a cast that was comprised of moustachioed Burt Reynolds, the suave Roger Moore, the arresting Farrah Fawcett and the legendary singers Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr, The Cannonball Run (1981) was a riotous movie. The basic premise saw these oddballs compete against one another in a race across the country to win a bounty of cash. Naturally, given the eccentricity of the characters, a number of amusing incidences arise throughout the journey, making it a rip roaring chase all the way through.

In a similar spirit, though minus the sheer wackiness of Hollywood fiction, the White Hat Rally, a UK-based charity event, sees equally energetic and enthusiastic participants get in their assorted vehicles and drive from Market Harborough into Lincolnshire, via lush countryside and panoramic vistas (basically the East Midlands). And then they mosey on back to Buckinghamshire, thereby completing a rather epic journey all for a good cause.

It is not a competition mind you, so if you’re thinking of getting your inner-Burt Reynolds on, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Instead, think of it as a fun drive across a stretch of captivating scenery with likeminded people. Teams that have already checked in include Acumin and Pentura.

First formed in 2009 by a group of kind-hearted individuals from the UK information security industry, the White Hat Rally has gone from strength to strength. In the spirit of the London 2012 Olympic Games, this year’s theme is Chariots of Fire. Each team that takes part will be representing a country that will be taking part in the Olympics. Fancy dress, naturally, is encouraged!

The rally supports a chosen charity any given year and 2012 will see it raise money for Barnardo’s. In previous years it has chosen ChildLine and the NSPCC as recipients of its fundraising endeavours. It selects a charity through using a lengthy evaluation process, after which it invites the shortlist to submit a tender.

There are four types of cars that can be entered. There’s vintage vehicles (defined as pre-1986 – old school Mini and Morris Minor for example), super cars (expensive and fast like an Aston Martin DB7 or a Lamborghini Bugatti), the self-explanatory Bangers (a just about ticking over motor valued at £500 or less) and themed cars (any car as long as it is adorned in the colour of your Olympic nation).

Not only do participants get to have fun, raise money for a charity, enjoy driving as a leisurely pursuit, they also get to take part in lots of fun Olympic-themed activities over the three days, and moreover, it provides a great, leftfield and interesting way to network with those involved in the information security industry. This concerns both professionals and customers, which is helpful for those wanting to discuss “business” at any of the resting points.

It is worth bearing in mind that a minimum of £1,000 must be raised by every team as a condition for entering the event, which historically hasn’t been a problem for those wanting to take part in the rally. If it makes you feel better, many participating groups have in fact raised minimums of £6,000. An outstanding figure it is, but anything is possible with energy, enthusiasm and, drive. Be creative in the run up to the event as to how you and your colleagues can raise money. Part of the fun is hosting fundraising events of your own.

“Last year, the White Hat Rally Carry on Driving event raised an impressive £38,548 for the NSPCC’s ChildLine Service,” Martin Law of White Hat Rally told Infosecurity Magazine. “This year we aim to build on this success to raise even more to support the fantastic work that Barnardo’s does for young people. We can’t guarantee the weather, but we can guarantee one of the best weekends imaginable.”

For more information, visit the official website or give them a tweet over on Twitter.

The event runs from June 22nd to 24th.



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