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Bikers give back

Carolyn Pope
Carolyn Pope/Vail DailyJanie Helling on the Buell Ulysses Motorcycle she bought.
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BACHELOR GULCH True generosity is a rare thing these days. A combination of generosity and joie de vivre is one step removed from rare.The members of the Cordillera Motorcycle Club have managed that balance. From its inception as a club dedicated to having fun, the club morphed in 2004 under the leadership of Craig Turner and Bob Schmidt. It seemed they were raising a whole lot of money having fun, and needed to do something with it.Hence, the Vail Valley Motorcycle Foundation was born.

The foundations mission is to enhance the quality of life for the people in the Vail Valley and it supports, among other things, educational and childrens programs, health care and the economically disadvantaged. This years third annual Rider Cup sold out immediately, and the fundraising party pushed the Ritz-Carltons ballroom to maximum capacity. The guests dined on the Ritz-Carltons incomparable cuisine, which included (honestly) the best crab cakes Ive had in ages, filet mignon, and some chocolate pyramid shaped thing that made my tongue tingle. After dinner, Duck Soup the unofficial band of the PGA had everyone out of his or her seats.The event grosses around $500,000 and each year, the gentlemen and ladies of the club determine who the recipients of all of their fun shall be.

They keep their membership rules simple: You must: Own a motorcycle or know someone who owns a motorcycle; just know what a motorcycle is; be able to have a good time; know the difference between two-buck chuck and Silver Oak; have a $600 admission check.; dues are only $100 per year; be sponsored by two members; and know the international tough-guy sign.The benefits heavily outweigh those hefty membership requirements.This year, the Cancer Caring House at Shaw Regional Cancer Center and Habitat for Humanity were the worthy charities to receive major funding from the club. The guests at the Ritz were invited to bid recklessly which wasnt a problem considering the live auction consisted of such spectacular items as a diamond necklace and diamond ring, donated by Kishin Mirpuri of Princess Jewelers; vacations in Charleston, Mayacama, and Costa Rica; tickets for all four days of the 2007 Masters Tournament; an excursion to South Africa; and a Dyson Racing Package.

I actually get emotional about our group, Turner said. Were a family. Around 35 percent dont ride motorcycles, but we do expect them to participate.Weve created a grant program for local charities and we like to help everybody who takes the time and effort to show that they care, he added. Last year, we assisted eight charities, this year we identified two major charities, though well hand out checks to around 10 other groups. Our message is if you step forward and participate, we will give you money.

For more information on the Cordillera Motorcycle Club or the Vail Valley Motorcycle Foundation, visit their Web sites at http://www.cordilleramotorcycleclub.com or vvmf.net.

Bob Schmidt and Craig Turner.

Dallas and Eric Lyon.

Emily Peyton and Liz Fessenden.

Bill Bresnahan, Mack Nichols and Steve Jacobsen .Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado


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