You may have seen on our 'event's social media channels a lot of chat about 'Scumrun'... The 5 day challenge involved a number of teams driving along a mystery route across Europe between 17 - 21 May. Before they event set off from Kent though, they needed to buy a car, fix it (if necessary) and decorate it! There were ScoobyDoo vans' Ghostbuster vehicles and even an Action Medical Research team! Shirley Smith remembers her favourite parts of the fundraising adenture...
Shirley (back row, right-hand-side) poses with Team Action
After mildly celebrating the success of being chosen as the charity of the year for Scumrun 2018 I watched the online videos of the event – they filled me with dread! Guys - of all ages - in absurd fancy dress, swilling beer like there was no tomorrow, laughing whilst making lewd and inappropriate gestures, trashing cars - it all sounded like my worst nightmare!
After ringing many of the participants though to introduce the charity and to follow up on fundraising, I slowly changed my mind. These guys might appear hard and unforgiving but in reality they were soft as pie; all in it for the right reasons - to raise thousands of pounds for charity - and to make sure they had a right blast doing it!
They talked about the Scumrun family and that I was going to have a trip of my lifetime. By the time a CB radio arrived on my desk a few days before it all started – a gift from one of the participants – I was hooked.
"I can quite honestly say that it was one of the funniest adventures I have ever had in my life."
The launch event at the Holiday Inn in Ashford was overwhelming. Beer flowing like water, giant Scaletrix sets, vehicles racing around the car park, beeping horns, flashing lights, sirens, and to top it all an outrageous guest appearance from the ever entertaining Ricky Groves, the hapless mechanic from EastEnders. The party had certainly arrived!!!
The Scumrunners came armed with wads of money raised through street collections, BBQ’s, pub quizzes, sponsored head shaves, marathon runs, sponsored kilt walks, band nights, company sponsors...the list was endless. There was no doubt that these guys certainly knew how to fundraise.
Moreover they had bothered to find out about the charity and become connected. They had a genuine and honest concern for the children who were going to benefit from Scumrun this year. It was touching to see. Some were in tears at the video we showed them as they heard from one of the parents whose child was suffering from the fatal Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a disease that Action has funded medical research into.
"Some of the destinations we went to were breathtaking. Budapest, our ultimate destination, was a perfect place for a great night out and believe me our Scumrunners certainly did just that!!!"
The subsequent trip was mayhem, a 2,300 mile car rally around Europe. Endless motorway driving from one place to the next, camping out in the cold, convoys of cars travelling at 100 miles an hour along empty autobahns. In five days we travelled to eight different countries (England, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Holland).
It didn’t disappoint. I can quite honestly say that it was one of the funniest adventures I have ever had in my life. As the charity team we were welcomed into the Scumrun family as one of their own. The company was entertaining at all times – wild, amusing and out to have a good time. Some of the destinations we went to were breathtaking. Budapest, our ultimate destination, was edgy, a perfect place for a great night out and believe me our Scumrunners certainly did just that!!!
In the end they raised more than £40,000 for Action Medical Research. Many thanks Scumrun for your endless generosity, your tremendous support, your overwhelming interest and commitment to our charity and your wonderful company. It was certainly a trip of a lifetime, one I will never forget.