When more than 50 adults came hurtling down Bernhardstraße in Sonneberg on small red Bobby cars this summer, it wasn’t just for fun! The event was also in aid of a good cause: the revenue from entry fees and Bratwurst sales were given to a family of five to realise their dream of buying a new used car. This is how it happened:
At the start of August 2018, I heard an appeal on local radio for Sonneberg families to take part in a charity campaign. “A Bobby car race in the town?” I thought, “That sounds like a lot of fun!” On top of that, this would be a chance to support a social project – something we traditionally like to do here at the Sonneberg location. So, the next day, I went around our offices and the production halls and managed to recruit 14 volunteers who then came to take part on the afternoon of 9 August, either with their own Bobby car or a rental. As it turned out, many other Sonneberg residents had answered the call, with an estimated 50–70 participants lining up at the start. In our case, the entry fee of five euros was covered and generously topped up by MANN+HUMMEL.
Bernhardstraße in Sonneberg is fairly steep and is therefore perfectly suited to a fun race like this. In fact, the street was closed off especially for the afternoon and plenty of eager spectators had lined the roadside. The race was also orchestrated with the media in mind, with both local press and radio present. Commercial station RTL 2 was also there filming on the day as the whole charity campaign was part of the programme ‘Mein neuer Alter’ (my new old car).
Fund-raising campaign part of a TV show
The concept behind the show is quite simple: a team of presenters searches for a suitable used car for a disadvantaged family through intermediaries and creative fund-raising campaigns. This episode focused on a family of five from Sonneberg whose car had given up the ghost at the start of the year. The family needed a car to get around but did not have the financial means to buy a new set of wheels, so they applied to appear on the programme.
The Bobby car race was the last step on the family’s journey towards their new car. Although the main focus was on the charity element, all participants approached the event with a competitive spirit. Everyone wanted to be faster than their opponents, with various strategies being employed for descending the hill on the small plastic car, ranging from the classic seated position to an experimental face-first approach with the rider lying on their stomach. The competitors were cheered on by family and friends. However, the real winners were the family from Sonneberg, who were, of course, also amongst the crowd and were more than a little moved by the response.
Social engagement at MANN+HUMMEL
I would like to express great praise for my colleagues at MANN+HUMMEL: we have our hands full here in Sonneberg due to the excellent order situation and yet, despite the pressure they are under, our employees continue to show great dedication to social projects. I think this is wonderful and I take my hat off to them.