The siren has sounded for the 8th edition of Cash and Rocket and 40 all-female teams are currently driving in a procession of bright red cars from London to Paris, Geneva to Monaco, all in the name of female empowerment. Monaco Life spoke to founder and CEO Julie Brangstrup about her motivation behind the charity event, which she hopes will hit the million pound mark this year.
Julie, why did you come up with the concept of Cash and Rocket in 2011?
I wanted to create a four-day female road trip that could combine the influences of women from all walks of life: music, film, fashion and business. The aim was to unite them together so they can raise money for the charities that I want to support, which mainly focus on women empowerment and children. So I wanted to go out and make a difference but I also wanted to give something back; I didn’t just want to do a normal fundraising gala, I wanted to give them an adventure so their experience made them talk about it with friends, family and networks.
How far has the event come in eight years?
We started small in terms of brands and slowly created partnerships with the fashion world, the media and many brands in general including car manufacturers. Each year we are progressing and learning with the help of partners and sponsors, and of course these incredible ladies who take four days off from their busy lives to come and support us. We are building something very unique, and it’s that whole community coming together that’s very powerful.
Never before has the women empowerment message been more relevant. How has the #MeToo campaign been a part of your cause?
When I first started, my message was that we had to focus on us women and be more proactive, but it was a bit of a tough sell to be honest. Luckily, now it is going in the right direction and when #MeToo came along I said: “Finally, now we can really go out and push it.” The more people around the world who become involved the better it is for everyone.
London to Monaco sounds like an incredible trip…
It’s a great route with fantastic cities, and we have a public car display in each: the Wellington Arch in London on 6th June, in front of the Eiffel Tower on 7th, at a polo tournament in Geneva, and then Monte Carlo Casino Square on the 9th. So we are really trying to spread the events around and encourage the public to take part. It’s not just about us women, it’s about all women, uniting them and making them feel part of it as well.
What are some memorable stories from over the years?
It is the adventure. These women are driving in their car for four days either with a best friend, sister or the like, and that memory and experience stays with them. They create long lasting relationships and they often reunite after the event. That’s the beauty of it, seeing all of these different nationalities coming together and really connecting. I think it is amazing just watching that whole unique bond that it creates between people, right to the end where we meet the women and children we are fundraising for.
You have some high profile participants this year, can you tell me about them and what the teams must do?
We have Paris Hilton driving with Caroline Stanbury, and local lady Chloe Green who is my co-pilot. Each team enters as ambassadors and they drive on their sponsor’s behalf, raising money along the way. The teams have a link on our website that they can use to fundraise, and the winner is whoever raises the most money, not who wins the race. Our target is one million pounds, and they have until midnight 9th June!