Since 2015, Sheila and I have been coordinating a national group of volunteers who are passionate about helping the BMW CCA Foundation achieve their goals. This group, now numbering over 50, are known as BMW CCA Foundation Ambassadors. Your Connecticut Valley Chapter, has three. In addition to Sheila and me, Dave Boone has been very helpful in getting the word out about the Foundation, volunteering at Tire Rack Street Survival events, helping at our Chapter booth at BMW CCA Days at Lime Rock Park during the IMSA weekend, and generally engaging with Chapter members at events which he attends. Additionally, he has approached his employer and managed to get the Foundation’s Street Survival Program onto a list of recipients of funds from them, that they have set aside for groups that do good things in the community.
We recently added a new Ambassador nationally, Brad Purvis of the Tidewater Chapter. Brad was excited enough to get going that he penned an article about the Foundation for his local Chapter Newsletter. As I couldn’t have said it better myself, and as many members still seem unsure what it is that the Foundation does or is, with his permission, here are some excerpts below (in blue font).
The BMW Car Club of America Foundation has been around for over 15 years now, but many of our members are still unaware of its purpose, programs or the services offered by the Foundation. The Foundation was formed in Greenville, SC in March of 2002 as a 501(c)(3) charity. The purpose of the BMW CCA Foundation is to serve as a living repository of BMW information and to establish programs to benefit BMW owners and the general public.
The Foundation maintains a Triad of initiatives in support of its mission:
The Street Survival Teen Driving Safety Program
The Library, Archives and Museum Program
The Conservation and Preservation Program
The TireRack® Street Survival Teen Driving Safety Program was one of the first initiatives of the Foundation. The premise of Street Survival is “learning by doing.” It is a hands-on course for students from age 15 to 20 taught by experienced instructors both on the course and in the classroom. This is not “Drivers Ed,” nor anything like it. The program teaches students to think and look ahead while exploring the proper techniques to steer, brake and escape an accident while training in their own cars (they do not have to be BMWs). To find out more about Street Survival visit: http://www.streetsurvival.org.
The Foundation Library, Archives and Museum are currently located at 190 Manatee Court in Greer, SC (next door to the BMW Performance Center). The goal of the Archive is to “…maintain a historical archive of all things BMW and BMW Car Club related and to make available to the public technical, historic and general information on BMW automobiles and BMW related organizations.” The program creates a repository for BMW related historical documents, literature and paraphernalia, providing club members access to rare and interesting artifacts while insuring their continued existence. The Museum is generally open from 9:00am to 4:00pm most weekdays; however, they do close during certain special events and most holidays, so it’s a good idea to call first: 864-329- 1919. You can learn more about the Foundation’s Library, Archive and Museum program, much of which is now online, here: https://bmwccafoundation.org/about/programs/library-archives- and-museum/
The Foundation’s Conservation and Preservation Program ensures the objects in the Archives and Museum are maintained to a condition that makes these objects accessible to enthusiasts. The Foundation has over 50,000 objects in its inventory. At least 95% of their objects are in good to excellent condition. The preservation program focuses on ensuring these objects remain in that condition. The Foundation also has objects that require conservation. These are typically items of historical significance that require repair, restoration or renewal. Some objects can be restored in house while others require professional restoration. Before undergoing restoration, the Conservation and Preservation Committee reviews the cost/benefit of the restoration in light of the object’s historical significance.
Heroes of Bavaria: 75 Years of BMW Motorsport: The BMW CCA Foundation Museum, in partnership with BMW of North America and private collectors from coast to coast, is now displaying 22 exceptionally rare and legendary examples of Bavarian Motorsport from a 1937 BMW 328 Roadster to a Williams F22 Formula One car. The exhibition runs through January 11, 2018.
Several Chapter members have visited this amazing exhibit and all have been very impressed. If you are traveling through the Greenville - Spartanburg area, you should plan to visit. And, as a final hurrah for this current exhibit, if you are fortunate enough to be in the area January 12th or 13th, there are two terrific opportunities to attend some exclusive events and have a wonderful BMW experience.