High Altitude Society column: Cordillera Motorcycle Association Legacy Society provides funds for local schools | VailDaily.com

High Altitude Society column: Cordillera Motorcycle Association Legacy Society provides funds for local schools

Recently, on a gorgeous summer evening at the Cordillera Valley Club, a group of committed and concerned individuals joined together to celebrate the successes of the Vail Valley Motorcycle Foundation's CMA Legacy Society and its good works.

The group has provided funds to the tune of $30,000 to supply Eagle County Schools with breakfast supplies and $15,000 in book scholarship funds to students at Colorado Mountain College this past school year. Hosted by Cheryl Holman, the event was a grateful nod to the original members of the Cordillera Motorcycle Association, with an eye on future goals.

"The original group intuitively captured something that is heartfelt and real and at the core involves simple basic needs and connectedness," Holman said.

The CMA Legacy Society was started to honor and perpetuate what began years ago with the founding members.

"I am overwhelmed with the response that we have had since launching this Legacy Society last summer. It has just been an amazing journey since that time, and we want to give you an understanding of what we have done," Holman said.

Several Eagle County School principals were on hand to share experiences and stories of the donations and benefits provided by the Legacy Society. Jason Glass, superintendent of Eagle County Schools, spoke to the group about benchmarking and the school district's successes.

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"Our approach to school quality in Eagle County involves using an international benchmarking approach," Glass said. "Those of you with a business background know about benchmarking. We do the same thing in education. We look at high-performing systems, observe what they do and think about how we can implement those lessons in our context."

Glass was appreciative of the Legacy Society's efforts and thanked the donors.

"The gifts that this association has given to the school district over the years have been tremendous, and we appreciate them and have put them to great use and our kids have gone so far with them," Glass said.

"I am the proud principal of Avon Elementary School, just like all of my colleagues are of their schools," said Roy Getchell, Ph.D. "… I stepped into an awesome situation because the school that I am in had tremendous leadership and support before I got there and I was blessed to become part of a community. … What I can tell you is that the students are succeeding … and we have never lowered the bar. Knowing that the community is behind us … as a teammate, means the world to us."

Erica Donahue, principal of June Creek Elementary School, thanked the Legacy Society for its continued support.

"You have been so instrumental for us," she said. "We are able to provide universal breakfast, which means every kid gets breakfast every day … all the students eat together. It is the first thing that happens in the morning. Children talk to their teachers and each other. … So, a continued thank-you for all that you do for us at June Creek Elementary."

Mitch Forsberg, principal of Gypsum Creek Elementary School, spoke of being grateful "for those who are looking to reach out and pay it forward, providing others the opportunity to succeed."

Melisa Ruwold-Thuon commented on the support, "I don't think that you always realize the profound impact that you have on individuals by doing this work. … You are helping each and every family that your donation touches."

Colorado Mountain College's Diana Scherr and Kathy DesPortes thanked the Legacy Society for the more than $110,000 contributed to their book scholarships these past few years. To learn more about the Cordillera Motorcycle Association Legacy Society, visit cmalegacysociety.org; 100 percent of all donations go directly to meet the needs of kids.

Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local that covers social events including fundraisers for nonprofits, local happenings and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at bettyannw6@gmail.com.