Bellwether Financial Advisors

Member Benefit Spotlight Series

Member Benefit Spotlight Series

Each month we will be highlighting one national membership benefit a month. This is to educate our members on the benefits they can take advantage of with their BMW Club membership. For a full list and overview of benefits, visit

We received our notice to renew our membership, and received a slip regarding the member benefit from Partner Ship, a shipping program. As a BMW member, you can enroll as a PartnerShip member and receive these benefits:

  • Savings up to 27%* on select FedEx small package services
  • Savings of at least 70% on LTL freight shipments with UPS Freight, YRC Freight, and others
  • Savings of 20-40% with discounted rates on shipments to and from trade shows and events

*Includes a bonus 5% online processing discount.

Visit or call PartnerShip at 1-800-599-2902 for complete details.

Club to cheer on the Drake Bulldogs! Jan. 25

Club to cheer on the Drake Bulldogs! Jan. 25

Join us Saturday, Jan. 25 to watch the Drake Bulldogs take on the Wichita State Shockers at the Knapp Center in Des Moines at 2601 Forest Ave.

The club has started to attend a sporting event in January and gone to an Iowa Energy game in the past two years. This year, with the new Head Coach Ray Giacoletti, you can watch the Bulldogs in a rebuilding time of the basketball’s history. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. and tickets will be general admission seats.

There will also be an informal social at West End Bar and Grille at 2309 Forest Ave., just up the street from the Knapp Center. We will meet at West End at 5 p.m.

Tickets are $10. If you’re interested, please RSVP by emailing Nicole Jobst Smith at

BMW Iowa chapter virtual driving school with many drivers at the wheel

BMW Iowa chapter virtual driving school with many drivers at the wheel

We had drivers of all ages test the limits of their virtual vehicles during the 2013 “Virtual Driving School” at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. Over a dozen members enjoyed chili on a day that was great to spend indoors with fellow club members.

“Instructor” Fred Bell guided a driver barely tall enough to reach the pedals on the floor through the Maple Valley course on Forza 4. Experienced racers tested their skills on the games Gran Turismo 4, touring tracks across the country from one game console. The club members also took a tour of the facilities at the ARL and got to see the surgical rooms, the grooming area and of course lots of adorable dogs and cats up for adoption.

We’d love for you to join us next year as we test the cars and tracks without liability in the virtual world. If you have any suggestions or have any questions regarding the event, please email me at

Visit Event Picture Gallery

Virtual Driving School December 7

Virtual Driving School December 7

The Longest Day Driving School is our biggest club event, however, some of our members have never touched rubber to the track. If you want some track experience without committing to LDDS, our virtual driving school in December is for you. Even if you are a seasoned veteran just looking to improve your skills over the winter months, you are welcome to a fun day pushing cars to the limit and even beyond.

Join us for a virtual driving school on Saturday, December 7 from 11 am to 3 pm at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, 5452 NE 22nd St., Des Moines. We will have various video games set up in the Theadora C. Mapes Auditorium where you can drive on well-known tracks like Road America, Laguna Seca and even the Nurburgring in Germany without fearing a crash.

This is a family friendly event and all ages are welcome. We will have instructors for each video game. Mario Kart will also be playing for those beginner virtual racers.

Park on the north side of the ARL and enter at the auditorium entrance. For those allergic to animals, there is no need to worry; the air system for the auditorium is different than the air system for the animals. For those that are animal lovers, you are welcome to tour the facility and see what animals are up for adoption.

The club will be providing chili to all “drivers” and attendees at the school. Please email any questions you may have to

You are also welcome to bring your own chili recipes or treats to the event. If you can’t make it and would like to donate a gift to the shelter, visit their Amazon Wish List at Amazon Wishlist.

LDDS From a Newcomer’s Perspective

LDDS From a Newcomer’s Perspective

Ryan Smith and I have served on the Iowa BMW Club board for nearly three years and never attended the Longest Day Driving School at the Mid-America Motorplex in Pacific Junction. This year, we were finally able to make the trip and see what our fellow board members were raving about.

As described by our fellow club members, we found that it is unlike any other chapter event the club hosts. I attribute this to the high participation, the weekend-long time commitment, and the sheer love of cars lingering in the air from the track to the grid and the paddock. Being in the company of these car lovers all weekend brought together why we have this club, and work so hard to bring the driving school to members each year.

Ryan was a novice student, while I volunteered for the Saturday and Sunday sessions and took photos from the stands and at turn 14. We were met with rain most of the weekend, but saw that each group was blessed with at least one dry run each day. On Sunday, the rain created an obviously wet track that provided some teaching opportunities.

It was great to see so many club members in one place. We saw lots of familiar faces, met members we’ve never seen, and welcomed other club’s members to our driving school. We found that the day is really what you make of it. We enjoyed down time in the Brighton tent between sessions – and of course a tasty feast provided by Don and Stacy Van Lengen (whom you can find a recipe from in this issue).

Now for the driving. Ryan was glad to finally see what his 2008 335i is capable of. He enjoyed working with instructor Dave Anderson from Minnesota, who talked him through how to navigate the track and offered slight variations on the line based on Ryan’s car and track conditions. I enjoyed watching the instructor group’s session on the track, and even got a ride from instructor Fred Bell.

A special thank you goes to those who participated in the charity laps, especially since the track was a bit saturated. The funds raised from those laps go to a charity that’s dear to my heart; Animal Lifeline of Iowa. It’s a no kill, special needs animal shelter in Des Moines that I volunteer for. The money we raised was enough to have two cats spayed or neutered. Let me explain the impact that has on the shelter. If you never spay or neuter one cat, and her kittens, and their kittens, and so on, that creates 230,000 cats over seven years. That means your donations helped keep 460,000 cats out of shelters. You’re an awesome club! To learn more, visit

I noticed a lot of Go Cameras on cars. Some even had cameras capturing video from both the front and rear angles of the drive. If you had a camera shooting over the weekend and want to share video with the club, email Currently, a video of student Ryan Smith is posted on our Youtube channel.

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