Bernard Martin's Pro Bono efforts to raise money for charities across the US during the pandemic
With the pandemic raging around the world and most car events cancelled for the foreseeable future many charities are being left with no fundraisers. Concours marketing leader Bernard Martin recently stepped up to the plate to offer his services to help charities across the country.
According to Bernie, "The conversation actually started at Amelia Island early this year. Dan DelBianco and I where sitting at the pool late Sunday afternoon and we where more or less reaching the conclusion that we may not be able to hold any. PVGP events this summer. I suggested that we get all 17 car clubs and encourage them to drive their cars in a series of fundraising rallies. We had just completed hosting the 2019 Alfa Romeo Owners Club convention and had used the belt system around Pittsburgh for a number of the driving tours so we had a ready made tour route with signage already in place."
The Pittsbrugh Vintage Grand Prix has renamed this year theme to "Shifting Gears" as a result of that conversation.
In early Spring Lilly Pray approached Bernie about a project that she had become involved in called "Rally Across America". Lilly has been a highly respected concours judge for many years and she was the first Ambassador for the effort. The founders of "Rally Across America", Jim and Wendy Petty, wanted to create a website and social media for their concept of raising $1 Million for charities across the United States by helping car clubs and car aficionados host driving events for their local charities.
Bernie told Lilly that this project was right in his wheelhouse as he was already planning events for the Three Rivers Alfisti to raise money for the PVGP.
Bernie created the website and social media for the organizations and also create all of the "Rally-in-a-Box" tools needed to ambassadors to create their own driving event. He tested a number of auto touring and rally apps for mobile devices and included the functions for the Rally Ambassadors.
Lilly Pray has a passion for cars, she’s been channeling that energy into an organized drive that will give back to the community. Lilly, a nurse in Boulder, Colorado, serves an ambassador for Rally Across America, a grassroots organization whose goal is to raise more than $1 million for nonprofit groups across the U.S.
Lilly jumped at the opportunity to help Rally Across America, which hosted its inaugural drive on June 7, with proceeds going to the Connecticut Foodbank. A total of 41 cars took part, with each driver donating the suggested $100.
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