Bikers hit the links for charity |

Bikers hit the links for charity

Story and photos by Carolyn Pope

It’s karma when you can merge something you love with something that does good.Back in 1997, a few avid bikers got together and formed the Cordillera Motorcycle Association. The mission was to have a good time – and that included golf, motorcycling, travel, great food and good wine. The club endures – now you don’t even have to own a motorcycle (social memberships are available), or even live in Cordillera (as long as you appreciate the finer things in life), and I don’t believe hazing is involved in the initiation.

After having way too much fun for a few years, the proverbial light bulb went off after a golf trip last year. As winnings were being distributed, someone suggested that some of the winnings be given to support the programs of junior golf. Instead of 10 percent, the entire pot ended up donated. Bob Schmidt and Craig Turner, invigorated with the idea of the greater good, formed the Vail Valley Motorcycle Foundation in 2004. The Foundation is the charitable arm of the Cordillera Motorcycle Association, with the sole purpose to raise money to donate to Vail Valley charities.The Motorcycle Association hosted its first “Rider Cup” this summer with 76 players playing on all three courses of Cordillera. The winning team included Bart Barnett, Kenny Angelucci, Brandon Harrison and Tom Roach. The individual winners were Rick Bowler and Bart Barnett. Sponsoring the event were Coors, Premier Africa and Mana Luxury Golf.

They managed to bring together 17 event sponsors, 42 auction donors and 36 hole sponsors, and live auction items included trips to Fiji, South Africa and Charleston, South Carolina. For anyone who has ever trodden the streets trying to gather items for their local fund-raiser, they know what a feat this is for a first year event.Last week, the Motorcycle Foundation handed out the checks to their designated charities. The three-day golf tournament raised more than $75,000 and the Shaw Regional Cancer Center, Habitat for Humanity, Vail Leadership Institute, the Youth Foundation, The Vail Valley Foundation, Eagle River Youth Coalition, the Literacy Project, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Jimmy Heuga Foundation, Cordillera Preservation Society, Tom Whitehead Foundation and the Eagle Valley Family Assistance Fund were the fortunate recipients of their funds.So, if you’re wanting to join in the fun, you’ll have to learn the “International Tough Guy” sign, turn on your Steppenwolf and get ready to have fun.

==========================================To Learn MoreFor more information on the Cordillera Motorcycle Club, visit their Web site at or call 926-0677.==========================================

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