At 64, most of us would be looking to settle down in a quiet place, enjoying a peaceful retired life. However, Renee Brinkerhoff, a 64-year-old Colorado resident, has been relentlessly driving her car around the world for one cause – to rescue children around the globe from human trafficking.
Through her ‘Project 356 World Rally Tour,’ organised by her racing and fundraising arms Valkyrie Racing/Valkyrie Gives, Renee is challenging the global community to help make an impact and change the lives of children and women at risk. And with only 2, 287 more donations of only $356 each needed, she is real close to reaching her goal of raising a million dollars for the cause.
“We’re on a million-dollar mission to support anti-human trafficking efforts,” said Renee. “Our rallying endeavors worldwide have been building momentum for our ultimate challenge this coming winter in Antarctica – a final 356 miles on ice that will complete our near 20,000-mile journey in a vintage 356 Porsche – and every mile we drive spreads the word for our cause.”
Competing since 2013 in world-renowned endurance rallies including La Carrera Panamericana, Peking-to-Paris and the recent East African Safari Classic Rally, Renee and her Valkyrie Racing team have used her vintage 356 Porsche racecar add some visual drama to her voice. She has already raised funds and made direct contributions to vetted organisations in nearly a dozen countries including China, Mongolia, Peru and Kenya.
“We quickly realised how much we stood out from the typical racing teams,” said Renee, who races in her vintage Porsche 356. “And we’ve used our own diversity to our advantage by speaking out on global platforms to initiate the conversation and raise funds that can support grassroots efforts.”
For her Antarctica trek, Renee is teaming up with Jason de Carteret, a British adventurer who has earned recognition by securing the world record for polar exploration. In addition to the ice travels they will do together with engineering partner Kieron Bradley, they plan for Renee to take on a land speed record on a blue ice landing strip, immediately following the 356-mile ice trek. “Antarctica will be the most beautiful, yet dangerous terrain we’ve yet to encounter with ourselves and our vintage car,” Renee explained. “We need to do things that are truly out of the norm to not only get noticed, but to show just how serious we are in gaining ground for a cause that is reaching its own pandemic levels.” De Carteret agrees that while weather alone will remain one of the largest hurdles, their technical mission is also one of environmental consciousness and they intend to not only lightweight the car but stay on track in the most carbon positive way possible. Currently the team is researching their carbon offset and anticipate the ability to give back to the world too.
Each contribution to her fund helps educate and support those that have survived human trafficking while also taking steps to raise awareness that can help to end the global issue completely. Her fundraising efforts alone have already secured more than $200,000.
“And by sharing #Donate356 everywhere we can, we believe we can reach that million-dollar milestone,” said Renee. Valkyrie Gives will be contributing 100 per cent of all dollars raised to the cause.
Renee’s Porsche 356 is currently being prepped in the UK and will join the expedition team in Chile in late November, before boarding a cargo plane to arrive in Antarctica. The last leg of the expedition also has the potential of setting a world record for rallying a vintage car on all seven continents, as well as a land speed record within Antarctica.
For more information and to join the cause, you may visit www.valkyrieracing.com.