Cordillera Motorcycle Association holds annual backpack ride
AVON — The Cordillera Motorcycle Association is meals on the coolest wheels ever.
Last year the group’s foundation fed local elementary school students 40,000 breakfasts and came up with some school supplies while they were at it.
Riders made their annual run to Avon Elementary School to deliver backpacks and school supplies.
The Cordillera Motorcycle Association has been around 16 years. In 2003 they launched their foundation and began donating school supplies and backpacks to local public school kids.
One day they were meeting with teachers and principals, who thanked them profusely for the school supplies, but explained that what kids really need is breakfast.
“It gets them ready to learn,” said Melisa Rewold-Thuon, Avon elementary school principal.
The motorcycle club grabbed the task like their Harleys’ handlebars. They helped provide 40,000 breakfasts last year for kids in several local schools, including Edwards Elementary, June Creek Elementary, Gypsum Elementary, Homestake Peak School and Avon Elementary.
Avon Elementary channeled some of that money into the equipment and supplies the school needed to land a federal grant to provide hot breakfast for every kid, in every classroom. The program started when school did last month.
“Kids can’t learn when they’re hungry. We think this makes a difference,” said Bob Schmidt with the Cordillera Motorcycle Association.
“We used their funds to buy supplies and equipment to get a federal grant,” Rewold-Thuon said.
The families appreciate it so much that they host a huge thank-you pot luck party every year, Rewold-Thuon said.
“Part of what makes our county the best place to raise a family is the outpouring of support for kids by our generous community. These kids and parents feel part of something big, part of something good,” said Jason Glass, Superintendent of Eagle County Schools.
Along with backpacks and breakfast, the CMA Foundation’s Ride for Success program provides textbooks for qualifying HERO scholars at Colorado Mountain College.
“The assistance the Cordillera Motorcycle Association provides impacts children everyday,” Glass said. “Backpacks, supplies, scholarships and breakfast all help kids by removing barriers to learning and giving tangible, essential support.”
A few years ago, as the bikers were playing golf and riding motorcycles, they figured they were lucky and they should give something back to their community, said CMA director of operations Laura Foster.
They launched a foundation and started raising money with the goal of giving it all away. They’ve helped more than 50 local charities, but when the recession hit they narrowed their focus to local school kids, Foster said.
They just hosted and celebrated their 10th annual Rider Cup fundraiser.
The Cordillera Motorcycle Association has more than 130 members.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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