The Spark
Previous ArticleSpark Index

MGCCWDCC Logo by Todd Wells

2017 Braille Rallye

Great Time had by All at the
55th Annual Braille Rallye

Many thanks to the MG Car Club Washington, D.C. Centre members who supported the 55th annual Braille Rallye on July 22! It was a small gathering, but everyone – navigators, drivers, volunteers –had an amazing day that lifted spirits and warmed hearts. We also extend our gratitude to our friends at Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind who work with us each year to pull off this longstanding event. The weather was July hot, but dry.

Upon their arrival, the navigators from the Columbia Lighthouse selected their favorite cars and drivers and the Rallye was soon underway. We had several first-timers as well as returnees who have participated over the many years of this summer tradition. As he is wont to do, Sammy led the way with exuberance that was quite infectious! If you’ve participated in past Braille Rallyes the last five years or more, you know Sammy.

Ken Stepka and I were the Rallye Masters this year and planned a route around Burke Lake Park and Clifton, Virginia that had an optimal time for completion of the course at one hour, one minute and 47 seconds. The competition was fierce with only one car more than 10 minutes off the mark. Special thanks to our drivers:  Jim Tierney, Ken Stepka, Mark Hanna, Steve Boyce, Jim Spurgeon, John Puglisi and Joe Dowley. You made our navigators very happy.

Club President Chris Kintner did a great job serving as the Master of Ceremonies. He announced the winners in each of the four classes of driving teams as determined by the reading ability of the navigators. The classes included SENIOR LARGE PRINT for adult navigators with some sight who read the course directions printed in large font, SENIOR BRAILLE for adults with no sight who read the directions printed in Braille, and JUNIOR PRINT and JUNIOR BRAILLE.

I want to thank everyone who came out to volunteer their time. Also, special thanks to Ruthie Arnold and Cheryl Kintner for taking charge of the picnic, Doug Campbell who has taken care of the trophies for many years, Chris Kintner who picked up our delicious meal, my brother Tom and friend Robyn for their morning prep and staffing the midway checkpoint, Bob Watkin for being a utility assistant, Jocelyn Hunter and the staff of the Columbia Lighthouse, and JR’s Stockyards Inn – some of the best BBQ around. JRs provided lunch at a steep discount to show their support for this respected Rallye, as they have for many years. I urge you to contact JR’s for your catering needs at: Tell them the MG Car Club sent you! If I missed thanking anyone, I apologize and it is only due to the late hour at which I am writing this.

As always, we would welcome assistance and support for this event. If you know of any clubs or charities that would like to show their support for the Braille Rallye, please have them contact me at Any donation will help a lot.

We hope to see you next year at the 56th annual Braille Rallye!

2017 Braille Rallye


Previous ArticleSpark Index