Cordillera Motorcycle Association fuels dreams for Eagle County kids
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The CMA Legacy Society was launched in 2015 and currently raises funds through a simplified, non-event-based approach to annual giving. As a result, 100 percent of all donations go directly to kids and students. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.cmalegacysociety.org.
EDWARDS — A line of motorcycles, loud and glistening, roars up to the front doors of local elementary schools. Along with leathers, the riders wear grins so big that they could be riding through the pearly gates.
The Cordillera Motorcycle Association puts its money where its motorcycles are by funding the nonprofit CMA Legacy Society.
Each year, members raise money. Then they ride up to local elementary schools and give away backpacks filled with school supplies. The roar of motorcycles makes this particular scene a very photogenic affair, but the group also quietly funds breakfast programs, snacks, books and eyeglasses, as well as Colorado Mountain College scholarships. Since 2004, the foundation has raised and given away more than $2 million.
Thank-you notes are pinned to bulletin boards and office walls at schools and at the Cordillera Motorcycle Association, notes that say things such as, “Thank you Cordillera Motorcycle Club. Breakfast helps us by giving us brain power.”
Sometimes it’s breakfast, but these days, they tend to give the money to the schools’ administrators for what Gypsum Elementary Principal Mitch Forsberg calls a “sunshine fund.” That money can be used for any needs.
The stories are heartbreaking and hopeful.
Kids sometimes look around and see opportunities they do not have, said Roy Getchel, Avon Elementary principal. Then they look up again and someone is offering to help them grab those opportunities and catch their dreams.
“Our kids have a shot here. Their parents are lifting up their children to a better life,” Getchel said.
Start your day right
Because so many people work multiple jobs, it’s common to see kids waiting outside a school’s front doors when they’re unlocked at 7:30 a.m. These parents love their children as much as you love yours, Forsberg said, but when they have to be in Avon to clean hotel rooms at 7:45 a.m., their children’s days start early, too.
Some of those breakfast mornings are a school’s community event. All children were welcome.
Gypsum Creek Middle School has a BIONIC Club: “Believe It Or Not I Care.” Of Gypsum Creek’s 396 students, 60 percent are eligible for free or reduced lunch. Through its BIONIC Club, kids help other kids get breakfast. They started doing it during testing weeks. Now it’s every day, or as many days as they can.
“Poverty looks very different at different schools,” said Erika Donahue, June Creek Elementary School’s principal.
The Cordillera Motorcycle Association was founded in 2004. It created the nonprofit CMA Legacy Society in 2015 and branched out to include Colorado Mountain College among its recipients.
“The support of community members like the Cordillera Motorcycle Association Legacy (Society) makes our work on behalf of the students of Eagle County Schools that much more rewarding,” said Tammy Schiff, the school district’s communications director.