High Altitude Society: Vail Valley Motorcycle Foundation carries on legacy
BEAVER CREEK — On Sunday, Aug. 30, at a private residence in Beaver Creek, there was a reunion of sorts of motorcycle enthusiasts who have a penchant for giving back to the Vail Valley community. It started about 18 years ago, with six guys who love to play golf and ride motorcycles. After long days on the motorcycles and the links, an idea for helping others was hatched. The funds started flowing in during some bets with the guys. Bob Schmidt was pleased. “Wow! This is really easy,” he said back then.
“We started a foundation in 2004,” Schmidt said, explaining how the nonprofit came to fruition. “We had a very small, succinct group who bought into what we liked to do. … We had a saying, ‘It’s all about lunch.’ It was about fun, and we were out there perhaps to make people’s lives in the valley a little bit better. We were having so much fun playing golf in this valley that gave us so much that it was a time to give back. Fast forward to 2014, and we had raised and given away about $2 million to many of the charities that exist in the valley.”
Greg Allen shared some stories of the gratifying work that has been done by the nonprofit. Each year, a group of riders pulls up to area schools on their motorcycles with school supplies in backpacks for local students. Allen met with school principals to establish the concrete, tangible needs of the students. The group strives to bridge the gaps where they can and has provided breakfast to area schools, as well as eyeglasses for those in need and classroom supplies.
As many organizations go, it was time for some new energy. Enter Cheryl Holman, who is now the president and CEO and is committed to honoring the legacy of the nonprofit with the creation of the membership-based Cordillera Motorcycle Legacy Society, which honors the founding leaders.
“The idea is too good to let go away,” Schmidt said. “So, we found Cheryl. And Cheryl is the one who will not let the idea go away. In fact, it is going to get bigger and better.”
“What I have embraced and feel honored to perpetuate is the legacy of the Cordillera Motorcycle Foundation as that group has evolved,” Holman said. “This has been an extraordinary group of people for me to be a part of and to see what has been done easily and simply. It has grown, and the impact has been phenomenal. Our goal is to continue to do good in a way that makes a difference in the lives of kids in the valley. Thank you for your commitment to the kids in the valley.”
The guests enjoyed entertainment by local musicians Brad Quayle and Donny Z. on a beautiful deck overlooking Beaver Creek Mountain on a gorgeous late summer evening. Chef Richard Bailey, of Taste 5 Catering, served delicious appetizers and offered his services as the membership chef. Huge thanks went out to host Rick McCarty and all the guests for attending and spreading the word about the good work of the organization.
Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events including fundraisers for nonprofits, local happenings and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.