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Ultimate Drive returns to West Springfield

By Erin O'Connor

Staff Writer

WEST SPRINGFIELD The public is invited to participate in BMW's 10th Annual Ultimate Drive Program on May 10 at the BMW of West Springfield from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Ultimate Drive benefits the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

A local hero will be announced that day.

A fleet of 19 titanium silver BMWs lead by a Signature Car - a 2006 BMW 3 - series painted titanium silver with swirls of pink ribbons will be on hand for the public to test drive.

Interested parties can call ahead at 1-877-4A-DRIVE or go online at to reserve a drive and choose the car they would like.

When test driving the vehicles, one dollar will be donated for each mile driven, by the BMW company to the Komen Foundation.

The driver will also be able to add their name to the signature car upon the completion of their drive.

This is the nation's largest fundraiser for breast cancer research.

The Komen Foundation was established in 1982 by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, whose life was taken to breast cancer at the age of 36.

There is no purchase necessary to drive the vehicles and all proceeds from the test drives go directly to the Komen Foundation.

"This year is especially meaningful, as the Komen Foundation celebrates 10 years of partnership with BMW," said Cindy Schneible, Vice President of Cause-Marketing and Sponsorships for the Komen Foundation.

After ten years of the Ultimate Drive, BMW will have donated over $10 million to the Susan G. Komen Foundation said Tom Purves, Chairman and CEO, BMW (US) Holding Corp.

The money raised will support breast cancer research as well as education, screening, and community outreach programs provided by the Komen Foundation.

"Thanks to new developments in research and screening techniques, breast cancer patients have over a 95 percent survival rate if the disease is caught early. The road ahead looks promising," said Purves.

The Komen Foundation is an international organization it has a network of more than 75,000 volunteers who work through local Affiliates and events like the Ultimate Drive.

Through fiscal year 2005, the Komen Foundation, its Affiliate Network, corporate partners and donors, has invested $630 million in breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment programs.

More information about breast health or breast cancer can be found at the Foundation's Web site at or by calling the Foundation's National Toll Free Breast Care Helpline at 1-800-I'M-AWARE (1-800-462-9273).

The fleet entering West Springfield on May 10 is one of two fleets of specially designed BMWs which will be crisscrossing the country visiting participating BMW Retail Centers.

The drive consists of 240 stops nationwide and will be joined by Alaska for the first time this year. It will continue through October 2006.