Motorcycle club hosts annual fundraiser |

Motorcycle club hosts annual fundraiser

Carolyn Pope
Vail, CO, Colorado

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

That’s the laid back attitude of the Cordillera Motorcycle Club ” a bunch of guys and gals who used to be a bit more uptight with formidable careers of bankers, lawyers and investors. Simplification is the keycode to this game; that, and having a lot of fun along the highway of life.

The Cordillera Motorcycle Club insists on a few crucial requirements to be a member: You must own a motorcycle or know someone who owns a motorcycle. If that’s too stringent, you can get in by just knowing what a motorcycle is. You should know the difference between Two Buck Chuck and Silver Oak, have a check for membership that doesn’t bounce, and be sponsored by two members.

If it still sounds like you fit the standards, you must be able to have a good time. You’ll need to follow one of their (many) mottos: no votes, no jerks, no problems, no regrets.

The benefits are plentiful, from lots of riding, to overseas trips, ski and golf days, safety and education programs, annual rides across the U.S., an annual “bitches” ride (wives or gals on the back) as well as trips for the boys, discounts on repairs and Harley goods, and trips beyond the border. Their rides cover pretty heavy territory, from riding to Maine (for lobster, of course), to Jackson, Wyoming and Moab (great scenery), Lech, Austria, and even to Patagonia. If that’s a bit too remote, you can join up Monday mornings at the French Press and hang out for a good ride.

“We started as a few guys from Cordillera riding their motorcycles to another golf club for three days of golf,” said founder director Greg Allen. “Now we are an Adventure Club. We still go on motorcycle rides here in the U.S. and Internationally but we have added other adventures. Our jeep group went to Moab this April for “the Jeep Safari.” We take jeep rides on Wednesdays and do a few overnight trips. Our group has also taken some adventure trips to such places as Machu Picchu, the Great Barrier Reef, and Antarctica.”

Memberships range from $500 (which includes a really cool jacket and t-shirts), to the spouse’s $200 membership, and annual dues are a mere $100 per year.

The Motorcycle Club is about to celebrate its 10th year. The club began with Cordillera’s head golf professional, Pentti Tofferi, taking eight members of Cordillera who owned Harley’s on a golf trip. The luggage and golf bags followed in a trailer behind them. In 1998 Bob Schmidt and Craig Turner created the CMA. There are now around 150 members.

“Everything worked fine for another four years until the group was on their annual ‘Boy’z Only’ golf trip. It was decided we were having so much fun and were so fortunate to live in the Valley that it was time to give back,” said Bob Schmidt. “Hence the creation of the Cordillera Motorcycle Foundation.”

The directors of the foundation are Bob Schmidt, Craig Turner, Mark Truitt, Greg Allen, Kevin Jones and Mike Hecomovich.

They held their first Rider Cup (member/guest golf tournament) in 2004, their one annual fundraiser, and, after an amazing 2005 event, which included Brooks and Dunn performing in Beaver Creek and a heck of a good party with some astounding auction items, the bank account was big enough to start spreading it around, and spread it they have.

The foundation identifies charities that share their philosophies and then hands out proceeds of their charitable event to help the non-profits serve the community.

In 2006, they handed out more than $200,000 for local charities with close to $500,000 for around forty Vail Valley charities in three years. In their first year, they gave money to eight charities. This year, they aim to help as many as thirty.

The philanthropic mission of the Vail Valley Motorcycle Foundation is to enhance the quality of life for Vail Valley residents. Through a grant making process, they assist charities that provide assistance and service to economically disadvantaged and those in need, provide educational programs and improve healthcare access and treatment. They are especially sensitive to programs that help children and support the growth and development of people in the community.

This year’s event begins with a dinner and live and silent auction at the Summit in Cordillera on Thursday at the Cordillera Summit Club. The auction includes items like a Harley Davidson Motorcycle, a jeep, trips to Cabo, VIP passes and air to the Mexico City Champ Car World Series and more. The 17th Avenue All Star Band will provide the dancing music. To accommodate the guests, auction activities and entertainment the group is renting a tent from Denver that was used at the Olympics in Salt Lake City and will require a crane to erect. Dinner will be an elegant buffet prepared by Cordillera’s Executive Chef Brian Bernstein and will feature food stations from many of the countries CMA has traveled to.

The final party is on Saturday from 6:30-11:30 p.m., also at the Summit Club, with some great local chefs cooking, featuring an evening of entertainment, with fine wine and gourmet food. Entertainment will feature magicians, jugglers, balloon artists, and dinner will consist of hors d’oeuvres, wine tasting, dessert and the wine and food pairings and dancing to the Tony Shreve band.

“Our group knows how lucky we are,” added Greg Allen. “So, once a year we have this party where we raise money to help the less fortunate in Eagle County. This small group of men and women has made an impact on the residents of the Valley. I’m proud to be one of the CMA members.”

If you’re up to the challenge check out their web site, sign up, and ride with the best. There are still tickets for the party coming on Thursday. Their web addresses are: (Charitable arm), (the biking club) or call them at 926-7433.

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