We wanted to formally introduce ourselves if you haven't come across either our bios on the website and/or the Rebelle Rally team post. We're team #139 for the 2021 Rebelle Rally, made up of Mandy Brezina who is returning for a second year, and Cindy Fajardo who is a rookie this year. Similar to Mandy's team last year, both will be rotating between driving and navigating throughout the rally!
How do we know each other?
Mid-2021, Mandy's teammate from last year had a family emergency that prevented her from participating again as planned. Mandy, wanting to take her manual transmission Jeep Gladiator AND to find a teammate that wanted to rotate roles. Between those two requirements, her options were limited, plus she really wanted to find someone that she knew was a good partner with her that she could share this amazing experience with. Cindy was one of Mandy's biggest fans in 2020. A great friend and coworker, Cindy seemed like a natural fit. It was just a matter of convincing her to take the time off and wanting to spend 10+ hours/day in a vehicle with her, on the other side of the country. After careful thought and coordination with her friends and family, Cindy committed to partnering up with Mandy. Given they already understand each other's communication styles and know how to give each other a hard time, they are hoping this will give them a leg up in the competition.
Where did the name come from?
It's a play on Mandy's 2020 team name - Hemispheres United. Cindy and Mandy are both veterans - Cindy served in the Air Force while Mandy served in the Army, so with two veteran friends coming together to do the Rebelle Rally, Team Veterans United seemed like a great fit! We made sure to use "team" in front of the name so that people don't confuse us with Veterans United, a home loan company :-) Despite that effort, we've been tagged in many home closings this year. Free unintentional publicity?
What's with the logo?
Similar to the name, this was a play on Mandy's 2020 logo, which comprised of a horse and an elephant - a combination of the teammate's favorite animals. This year is a "morse," a mastiff-horse, representing Cindy and Mandy's two favorite animals. Cindy has two American Mastiffs and Mandy has horses, so thanks to the work of Dez Carter, he was able to combine the two animals for our official logo.
In addition to all of the reasons to do the Rebelle Rally, while we fundraise, we have the opportunity to give back. Our why this year is the Catch a Lift Fund - an amazing, Baltimore-based organization that enables post 9/11 combat Injured veterans all over the U.S. to recover and rehabilitate both physically and mentally through physical fitness, motivation and support. 5% of all funds raised will go back to this amazing organization. Due to both our location, the mission of this organization, and their proximity to where we live, we felt this organization was a perfect fit for a team of two veterans!
We look forward to seeing all of the 2021 Rebelles in the dirt next month!