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BMW Kicks Off Its 14th Annual Charity Ride With an Exclusive Four-Day Motorcycle Trip Through California

Motorcycle enthusiasts help raise over $75,000 for children's charity and California Highway Patrol

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Oct. 7 -- BMW of North America will launch its 14th annual BMW Motorcycle Charity Ride by raising over $75,000 for two charitable organizations. A donation of $52,500 will be made to the St. Francis Medical Center's "Footprints" program in Lynwood California. The program provides shoes and clothing for hundreds of underprivileged children in East Los Angeles. Another $22,800 donation will go to the California Highway Patrol 11-99 Foundation for the families of lost, injured or disabled CHP officers. More than 60 motorcyclists will begin the Charity Ride at BMW of North America -- Western Region Training Center; 1175 S. Dupont Avenue; Ontario, CA; October 7th at 8:00AM PDT.

The elite, four-day, 1200-mile motorcycle journey has a loyal following including attorneys, doctors, publishers and entertainment moguls who ride together each year to raise money for these charities. Each participant donates $1,200 to take part in the event.

The scenic trip begins at BMW regional headquarters in Ontario and goes through Death Valley, Yosemite National Park, and Pismo Beach, California before ending back in Ontario. The California Highway Patrol provides a ceremonial motorcycle escort for the first few miles of the ride, with a large group from the CHP 11-99 Foundation surrounding the motorcyclists for a grand send-off. Ride Marshals will be driving the original 1955 Buick Highway Patrol car from the 1950's TV series, "Highway Patrol".

The BMW Charity Riders have developed a scenic yet challenging route for the 2004 participants:

  -- Day One (Thursday, 10/7) Coming 'round the mountain: Ontario to Death
     Valley - The motorcyclists will kick-off the tour with simple roads
     and freeways, then head north to Furnace Creek through the beautiful
     Avawatz and Owslhead Mountains.

  -- Day Two (Friday, 10/8) (From Low to high -- surge high):  Death Valley
     to Yosemite - The riders will start at below sea level, traversing the
     desert floor, then climb to Tioga Pass at an outstanding 10,000 feet.
     That evening, they will stay in the Yosemite area.

  -- Day Three (Saturday, 10/9) Sunset in the valley: Yosemite to Pismo
     Beach - The BMW Charity Riders will move across Central California's
     Joaquin Valley, through Cottonwood Pass and down to the incredible
     Morro Rock of Morro Bay.  Then, the riders will travel South on CA 101
     to Pismo Beach for a glorious beachfront banquet as the sun sets into
     the Pacific.

  -- Day Four (Sunday, 10/10) Beach, Freeways - Pismo Beach to Ontario --
     The Riders will travel approximately 41/2 hours along CA 166 and 33,
     two of the finest and most scenic motorcycle roads anywhere.

The Charity ride began fourteen years ago with a small group of Los Angeles area BMW employees and loyal customers eager to pursue their passion of motorcycling with a philanthropic edge. The number of participants rose sharply in the 1990s, enabling the initiative to raise approximately $400,000 for the charities thus far.

About St. Francis Medical Center

St. Francis Medical Center (SFMC) exists to serve the healthcare and social needs: body, mind, and spirit, of the communities of Southeast Los Angeles. St. Francis Medical Center is founded upon and advances the healing ministry of Christ in the tradition of service established by St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. SFMC promotes healthy families, responsible stewardship of the environment, and a just society through value-based relationships and community-based collaboration.

About California Highway Patrol 11-99 Foundation

From its beginning in 1981, the goal of the California Highway Patrol 11-99 Foundation (CHP) has been to serve the employees of the California Highway Patrol. Over the years, it has become apparent that the greatest need is to provide scholarship opportunities for the children and spouses of CHP employees. The scholarship fund provides CHP children and spouses with educational opportunities, based on financial need and academic excellence. Thus far, over $2 million has been awarded.