As part of its major initiative to support the creation of a national network of Brain Centres in collaboration with the Brain & Spine Foundation, the Richard Burns Foundation has made significant headway in its fundraising ambitions at luxury and supercar show Salon Privé and the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The gala dinner at Salon Privé saw more than £25,000 raised through an auction of motorsport memorabilia, including an extremely rare lot of a signed pair of Burns' Subaru World Rally Team overalls, with the successful bid coming from M-Sport team principal, Malcolm Wilson. TW Steel watches and generously-donated holidays to locations such as the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador contributed to the significant start to the Brain & Spine Foundation fundraising campaign.
The auction was supported by personal reflections on the 2001 World Rally Champion's life from a range of friends and motorsport stars, including Jason Plato, David Brabham, Marino Franchitti, Jim Rosenthal and loyal long-time co-driver Robert Reid.
Following the screening of a powerfully emotive film documenting not just Burns' career achievements but also revealing intimate details of his determined fight with a brain tumour, his surgeon Peter J Hamlyn, MB BS, BSc, MD, FRCS, FISM – Founder Trustee of the Brain & Spine Foundation – gave a moving address to the assembled guests.
“I well remember Richard's memorial [rally] as a time to reflect on an exceptional life and remarkable achievements,” he said. “By contrast, the Salon Privé evening saw the Richard we all admired in a real sense back at work – getting on with the business of doing things better. We have only just begun this collaboration and have yet to see success, but for the millions of sufferers of neurological disorders, it was indeed an evening of hope.”
At the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed, meanwhile, the Foundation raised a further £20,000 as the event's official charitable partner, working in tandem with the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation.
Auctioning rally rides on the legendary Goodwill hill climb, the Richard Burns Foundation was supported by the MINI WRC Team with Kris Meeke, the Peugeot WRC Team with Guy Wilks, Skoda and many other private competition car owners. More than 200 volunteers helped the Foundation mount the logistical challenge of bucket collections, and the Goodwood spectators gave generously.
Personal donations topped £1,500 for rally rides through the Forest Rally Stage, whilst text competitions offering a ride in an Audi Quattro and Sébastien Loeb-signed merchandise further boosted fundraising efforts. The Foundation looks forward to returning to Goodwood for the Revival meeting on 16-18 September, alongside the Hope for Tomorrow Charity.
The fundraising endeavours at Salon Privé and the Goodwood Festival of Speed are soon to be followed by the fourth Memorial Rally in Burns' name to be held at RAF Marham on 13-14 August, one of the remaining events in the tenth anniversary year of the Englishman's 2001 WRC title triumph.