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New Beginnings Counseling Center Selected as Bimmerfest’s Featured Charity

Bimmerfest 2013 has selected Santa Barbara-based New Beginnings Counseling Center as this year’s featured charity for the event’s “Opportunity Drawing.”

Bimmerfest 2013, sponsored by ESS Tuning, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 18 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Click here for more information.

Bimmerfest is a community of BMW enthusiasts and the largest BMW car show in North America.

“Each year BMW owners come together to share their collective passion for the brand and their cars, but more importantly, to give back to those need,” said Jon Shafer, Bimmerfest founder. “As founder of Bimmerfest, I’ve always taken great pride in one particular element of the show, the Bimmerfest ‘Opportunity Drawing.’ There is no doubt that those of us who are fortunate enough to drive BMWs are privileged. Sometimes we take it for granted, and the raffle provides us with a unique opportunity to give something back to the universe, or ‘pay it forward’ if you will.

“Over the years, our Bimmerfest sponsors have donated some truly amazing prizes that have helped us sell tickets — resulting in excellent cash generation which we then forward to a certain selected nonprofit charity. This year we have chosen New Beginnings Counseling Center as our recipient.”

The agency helps middle-class families struggling to regain their footing in today’s difficult economy.

“We are thrilled to be selected by Jon and Bimmerfest,” executive director and fellow BMW-enthusiast Kristine Schwarz said. “Our mission — to provide the assistance necessary for all members of our community to thrive — will be well-supported at this event.”

New Beginnings Counseling Center provides mental health counseling, case management services, and overnight shelter for homeless families and individuals who live in their vehicles, through its Safe Parking Program, often regarded a model program by international media examining the homelessness crisis. It has been featured by NBC Nightly News, NPR, PBS, CNN, the Discovery Channel, People Magazine, the Larry King Show, and most recently in an 11-page article in Rolling Stone magazine.

This year’s sponsors of the “Opportunity Drawing” so far include KW automotive North America Inc., the Suspension Source, Morr Wheels, Motorsport Hardware and Mackin Industries. Past recipients of Bimmerfest’s Opportunity Drawing include A-OK Afterschool Program, CALM, Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara, the Kids and Bikes Foundation, and the Unity Shoppe of Santa Barbara.

— Jill Frandsen is the director of development and community relations for New Beginnings Counseling Center.

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