Dealerships to Offer Test Rides for Charity

Driving to find a cure for breast cancer, thousands of people are sitting behind the wheel of a luxury automobile and simply pressing on the gas pedal.

Since mid-July, people nationwide have been test-driving BMWs and participating in "The Ultimate Drive for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation." For each mile a test-driver takes a Beemer, BMW of North America donates $1 to the foundation.

The goal is to raise more than $1 million in support of breast cancer efforts and to raise awareness of the importance of early detection, said Kristin Kelly, a spokeswoman for the foundation.

"It's a nice way for people to feel that they're participating in a good cause without spending any money," Kelly said.

Beginning in October, dealerships throughout Los Angeles will start participating in the charity drive by offering test runs in any of 16 BMW models.

Also at each dealership a local "hero" will be honored for her or his outstanding work in the community and dedication to stopping breast cancer.

According to figures supplied by the foundation, about 44,000 women and 400 men die from breast cancer every year.

The first test-drive event in the Valley will be on Oct. 18 at Bob Smith BMW, 7050 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park.

Other Valley-area locations participating include Rusnak BMW, 3832 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, on Oct. 22; Valencia BMW, 24030 Creekside Road, on Oct. 24; Center BMW, 5201 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks, on Oct. 25; Pacific BMW, 732 South Brand Blvd., Glendale, on Oct. 29; and Century West BMW, 4270 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, on Oct. 30.

Although reservations are not necessary, participants can call (877) 423-7483 to request a specific BMW type and get further details on other Los Angeles-area locations.

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