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Charitable choppers

Carolyn Pope
Carolyn PopeFlint Crawley and Diana Rowe.
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One of the most enjoyable parties of the year is hosted by a group of men who really get their kicks on Route 66. In a matter of speaking, anyway.The Cordillera Motorcycle Foundation spends a whole lot of time preparing for their annual Rider Cup held each August. Its not uncommon to have a nonprofit put together a party for fun, but its a rare occurrence to have fun come before philanthropy. Thats what this group of ladies and gents has done. The group started as a way for people to ride their Harleys, go on amazing travel experiences and drink a good bottle of wine now and then. They then discovered that they could combine these pleasurable pursuits with raising money. The great part of this is that many local charities have profited through their having fun. Not bad, eh?

The fifth annual Rider Cup was held Aug. 7-10, beginning with a kickoff party at Timberhearth in Cordillera, a couple of days of golf, and the culminating event, Leather & Lariats Charity Dinner and Auction held on Aug. 9 at the Ritz-Carlton in Bachelor Gulch.Ron Budacz, Trudo Letschert, Peter Taub and Roy Smith walked away as the first place team during the cup, while Garyen Denning, Steve Stubbs, Sue Parker and Maria Schick came in last. Better luck next year! Steve Graves wound up with the low gross and Peter Taub had the low net.

A few hundred people showed up wearing their cycle chic or cowboy casual to this great party. The silent auction was spectacular, but was only an appetizer to the mac-daddy of live auctions. These folks truly know how to have a good time. The whole shebang is sponsored by Coors Light, Ginn Club and resorts, the Club at Cordillera, Audemars Piguet and A.E. Betteridge jewelers. The guests were entertained from the minute they walked in the door with rope tricks, card tricks, and those guys who can turn balloons into occasionally risqu forms. The Ritz pulled out all the stops on the dinner they serve; this year, guests were treated to big-eye tuna on wonton crisps, tomato-basil bruschetta, butter roasted Maine lobster, beef tenderloin and more.

After awards were handed out to the teams, the auction began. Almost $200,000 was thrown into the pot for packages that included an African safari (donated by Premier Africa), a Sentient Jet membership, a Jules Audemars Globe watch, tickets to the Masters (donated by Kevin & Sherry Jones), a Costa Rica vacation for 12, and the biggie, a chest of priceless treasures, which came loaded with gems, jewels, vacations (at Esperanza) and even a car. Tom Zinna took his chances with the treasure chest, and walked away with a wide grin on his face.When all was said and done, organizations like the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Buddy Mentors, the Heuga Center, Gore Range Natural Science School, Small Champions, the Vail Symposium and other local charities were given the help they need to keep their programs going.

All I can say is great job, boys (and gals)!To join the Cordillera Motorcycle Club, you dont even need to own a motorcycle. I own a scooter, and who knows why they let me in anyway. Check out their Web site at http://www.cma-club.com. Or give Laura Foster, the lady who keeps them all organized, a call at 970-926-7433. To help us publicize your event, e-mail VailCarolyn@comcast.net or call (970) 748-2989.Click on photo galleries at http://www.vailtrail.com to see more photos from this event.


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