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IMG_2547Vines Group BMW and MINI is sponsoring the Surrey Hills CowParade by providing organisers with an especially branded BMW X5 vehicle to promote the initiative.

CowParade is the world’s largest public art event which comes to Surrey this year with hundreds of brightly-coloured cows set to decorate the hills, farms, towns, schools and popular landmarks across the county.

Organisers want individuals, companies, schools and other organisations to sponsor a life-sized cow and either decorate it themselves or bring in an artist to do it. The cows will then be displayed around the county before being herded to the inaugural Surrey Hills Food, Drink and Music Festival on September 3 where they will be auctioned off. Those judged the pick of the herd will go to auction at a gala ceremony in London later in the year.

Proceeds will be shared equally between Surrey Hills Trust Fund, a charity established to conserve and protect the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which supports local community projects and enterprise schemes, and the individual charities selected by the cow sponsors.

IMG_2545In addition to supplying the promotional vehicle to Surrey Hills CowParade, Vines Group – which has showrooms in Redhill, Guildford and Gatwick – will also be sponsoring their own cow which will be decorated for auction.

The BMW brand has a long affiliation with the arts world through the highly popular BMW Art Car concept introduced in 1975 to invite prestigious artists to create a canvas on an automobile. American artist Alexandra Calder painted the first vehicle which took part in the 1975 Le Mans endurance race.  Since then 17 BMWs have been painted by famous artists including David Hockney and Andy Warhol. The most recent BMW Art Car was painted by leading American artist Jeff Koons which competed at Le Mans in 2010.

IMG_2546Sean Kelly, Vines Group’s Managing Director, said: “BMW has a long association with the arts world though the BMW Art Cars and we feel the Surrey Hills CowParade is a brilliant arts initiative to promote enterprise in the county.  We are therefore delighted to become a sponsor.  As well as branding a BMW X5 to promote the CowParade, we will also have our own dedicated cow and we hope to encourage other businesses across Surrey to support this wonderful event which will hopefully raise lots of money for good causes.”

Mr Kelly handed over the keys of the BMX X5 on Wednesday, January 27, to Surrey Hills Cowparade Leader Tim Metson at Vines Group’s showroom in Redhill.