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President’s Article January 2014

The by-laws of the BMW Car Club of America Foundation states the Foundation is “organized exclusively for charitable, literary and educational purposes as set forth in Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The Iowa Chapter has always had a charitable and benevolent purpose in which we have donated funds to several very deserving entities or charities. Most notable and of late, has been the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. Charity laps at driving school and raffle proceeds from the BimmerWorld race car door are the most recent.

Once again, our Club will be donating proceeds from several items to two different charities, which you will soon be able to bid on during a silent auction and a raffle. The club has been the recipient of several notable items recently, including two partial front bumper covers from damaged Turner Motorsport race cars, autographed by Bill Auberlin and Will Turner, a 8 x 10 framed poster autographed by four Turner Motorsport drivers and a Prevette’s master detailing kit.

The first bumper cover will be raffled at our annual picnic next summer. Tickets will be on sale at all of our events between now and then with the proceeds being donated to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. The other three items will be on display and auctioned with a silent auction during our Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet in Cedar Rapids on February 22.

The proceeds of our silent auction will be donated to the BMW CCA Foundation. The Foundation is currently in the process of a capital campaign drive to help secure the future of events such as Street Survival, archiving the history and library of the BMW CCA and expanding the museum in South Carolina.

The BMW CCA Foundation has received a matching funds challenge grant of $250,000 which will expire December 31, 2013. Although the matching funds grant will have expired, the Capital Campaign is still in progress and all members are encouraged to give in order to preserve and protect the history and programs of the BMW CCA.

BMW CCA Foundation Capital Campaign and BMW CCA $250,000 Challenge Grant

BMW CCA Foundation’s Capital Campaign is in full swing and here is a great opportunity for BMW CCA members to participate through a $250,000 matching funds Challenge Grant.

After only a few months, the Capital Campaign has raised over $500,000, which is a great overall start for the campaign. However, the Challenge Grant for BMW CCA members and chapters is off to a slower start, with only a little over $12,000 in donations so far. This concerns us because the $250,000 Challenge Grant expires at the end of 2013.

The BMW CCA Foundation’s fundraising will benefit its transition to a larger building, which in turn, will let it better manage and grow its archives and library missions. This is important, but what really excites us about the Capital Campaign is its very strong emphasis on expanding the Street Survival program to more teen drivers and securing the future of the program.

BMW CCA chapters and volunteers were directly responsible for the early success of Street Survival. You set the standard for a program that is now recognized nationally as a leader in teen driving safety. Now, as the Foundation seeks to grow the program, it again looks to BMW CCA chapters and members to lead the way, and the perfect opportunity is the $250,000 Challenge Grant.

The Challenge Grant rules are simple. Every member who donates or signs a pledge to the Foundation before the end of the year, will have his or her contribution matched, dollar for dollar. Every contribution is worth double. All financial gifts are tax-deductible, as permitted by applicable law.

But the Challenge Grant also applies to BMW CCA chapters. We know that many chapters donate to charities, and some have already contributed to the BMW CCA Foundation and for that, we are very grateful. However, with the Challenge Grant in place only until the end of 2013, there is a brief but golden opportunity for chapters to make their contributions worth twice as much. Even more than twice actually, since chapter donations would also trigger the Foundation receiving a portion of the BMW CCA charity matching funds that we anticipate will be awarded in 2014 as in years past.

More information on the campaign is located online at

There will be special recognition. All chapters making contributions to the Foundation’s Capital Campaign will be recognized in the Foundation’s headquarters building on their Wall of Honor. However, the chapter donating the most in each chapter size category—small, medium, and large—will receive special recognition in the Foundation building, and will also be prominently announced and recognized in Roundel magazine, the weekly Roundel online, the BMW CCA and BMW CCA Foundation Web sites, and at Oktoberfest 2014 in Colorado.

It would be a shame to leave any of the $250,000 Challenge Grant matching funds on the table. Please help the Foundation, teens who are just beginning their motoring lives, and everyone who shares the road.

BMW CCA Oktoberfest 2012

When some of my friends asked me where we were going for vacation this year–I told them Columbus, Ohio. I received several weird looks and many responses of “really?” I needed to inform the less knowledgeable, that Columbus was the site of our annual BMW Annual Oktoberfest Event and we would be seeing about 900 of our favorite BMW friends. After spending the night in Cedar Rapids with Katie, we started out in the technoviolet M3 and the blue 325ci about noon on Sunday to travel until we determined we needed a rest for the night. After several discussions back and forth with our traveling radios, we determined we would pull off at Danville, Illinois and find suitable lodging. Later on Monday evening, during the Liberty Mutual Welcome Reception in Columbus, we discovered the Bells had stayed very close to us and then visited with the other 17 Iowa Club members that had made the trip to Ohio.

Along with the driving school held at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Tuesday is devoted to the Concours de Elegance so that those participants can get the event out the way in order to concentrate on other events throughout the week. Tuesday was the only day it rained, and to the dismay of the Concours entrants, not all cars were totally ready for the judging that began at noon. It was an equal distraction for all entries, but the rain stopped about an hour before judging would begin. After the judges finished with the white gloves and Q-tips, we had two winners from Iowa walk up to accept their trophies during the Dinan Performance Concours Awards dinner that evening. Russ and Brian Wiles finished in first place in the 3rd Generation Clean Class with their 1995 M3 Lightweight and David and Becky Brighton finished first in the 3rd Generation Super Clean Class with their technoviolet M3.

Driving school at Mid-Ohio continued on Wednesday, as well as the Odometer Gears TSD rally. The rally was a 4-hour course that wound east out of Columbus about 120 miles through the foothills of the Adirondacks of eastern Ohio. When the scores were tallied, we had 4 cars from the Iowa Chapter that had won a trophy. In “Class B” David and Becky Brighton placed first and were followed closely by Russ and Brian Wiles who finished 3rd in class. “Class C” was won by Alex Totten and Sean Hayes followed by Alison and Fred Bell who finished 3rd in class. Gymkhana was also held back at the Polaris Hilton parking lot and the trophies began to pile up for Iowa members. The Iowa Chapter came home with some of the best times of the day with Russ Wiles finishing 2nd, Brian Wiles 5th, Alex Kotten 8th, Katie Brighton 15th, David Brighton 16th, Cindy Wiles 19th and Becky Brighton 31st out of about 75 participants. Wednesday evening was highlighted by the second version of “Casino Night” with proceeds going to the BMW CCA Foundation.

Over the years, I have been asked many times “why are so many trophies won by Iowa Chapter members?” and I always respond that we have the best members in the county.

Driving school is held each day, so that was also true on Thursday, as well as the first day of autocross–non “M car” day on the course. Iowa was well represented again with Alex Kotten finishing 1st in class 3A, Jan Gerber finishing 2nd in class 9, and Katie Brighton finishing in 7th place in class 3D. Thursday evening was highlighted by motorcoach rides for all participants to the buffet meal hosted at Kelly BMW. Kelly BMW had the showroom filled with historical and rare BMW’s for viewing preceding the highlight of the evening–special guest speaker Joey Hand with his E46 M3 race car driven in many races about 3 years ago.

Friday is “M” day at autocross and it is dominated by M3’s and M coupes. This year, the new 1 Series M was also well represented. The fastest time of the day went to Russ Wiles who finished 1st in class 5B. Brian Wiles finished 1st in class 4A. In class 5A, Scott Smed finished 4th, Don Van Lengen finished 9th and Stacy Van Lengen finished 12th. In class 5C David Brighton was nudged by 2 hundredths of a second for a trophy and finished 4th. Friday night at O’fest is always Banquet and Awards night and it usually lasts well into the night. This year’s Banquet was highlighted by a special award presented to Larry Koch who is retiring after 28 years with BMW NA and also with special speaker Joey Hand of RLL Racing.

Saturday morning brought another day of driving school and is also time for friends to pack up and say “good-bye” for another year until we meet again.

Oktoberfest 2013 will be held at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, California August 19-24, following the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

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