Tag Archives: humanitarianism

True Grit: 25 Women’s Racing Organizations for Cars, Bikes and More

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Cars, bikes, racing — these aren’t men’s worlds anymore.

We’ve already written about some great women’s motorcycle clubs (twice, in fact), but now let’s shine a spotlight on some women’s car clubs and racing organizations. Ours is a world full of female gearheads and great female racers. These 25 groups below are proof of that.

Motorsports Groups

Horsepower & Heels, Nationwide

Erica Ortiz, a drag racer and the founder of Horsepower & Heels, liked racing with the men, but she wanted the respect that they so effortlessly received. So, she decided to band with other women and start her own racing organization. Together with photographer Eddie Maloney and contributors Taylor Hyatt and Kelly Morris, the team at Horsepower & Heels promote women’s racing. Ortiz still races and is a multi-time champion.

Women in Motorsports, Inc., Nationwide

Women in Motorsports, Inc. supports female racers with professional aspirations. You can link up with other racers and learn more about training, bike parts, equipment and more. If you want to become a data technician, suspension technician, chassis mechanic, crew chief or work in a similar field, this group has the connections to help you get there.

FIA Women in Motorsport, International

As a worldwide motorsports group, the Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA) also happens to have its own branch devoted to women’s racers called FIA Women in Motorsport. Founded in 2009, the group “aims to create a sports culture which facilitates and values the full participation of women in all aspects of motor sport.” Former rally driver Michele Mouton is the group’s president.

Women’s Auxiliary of Motorsports (WAM Inc.), North Carolina

WAM is the fusion of two NASCAR organizations, the Busch Series Ladies Association and the Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary. Established in 2004, the group is involved in North Carolina charities such as Royal Oaks Elementary, Jeffrey’s Toy Closet (which gives to people affected by disasters and sick children) and Mooresville Soup Kitchen.

Car Chix, Nationwide

Car Chix is a motorsports organization for women that promotes and advertises women in all aspects of racing at any skill level. Jeanette DesJardins established the group in 2010. Make sure not to miss the Drag Racing for Life Breast Cancer Fundraiser, which the Car Chix have hosted since their formation. People have donated more than $50,000 since the event’s inception. The women support other charities, including those for multiple sclerosis, children’s health and more.

Grace Autosport, Georgia

As “the first racing team driven by women,” the team at Grace Autosport in Atlanta does more than just drive. Off the track, they “promote and inspire young women to pursue their dreams within the field of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).” You can pick up some cool T-shirts, hoodies, hats or rubber bracelets to show your support.

British Women Racing Drivers Club (BWRDC), UK

Mary Wheeler founded the BWRDC back in 1962, making it one of the oldest women’s motorsports organizations around. Members participate in races of all kinds, including karting and rallying; some even join championship races. As long as you have a National or International A MSA license, you’re welcome to become a full club member.

blue car on track

Automotive Clubs

Chassis Lassies, Colorado

Founded in 1995, the Chassis Lassies was formed from original members of the Colorado Camaro Club, another all-women organization. The members typically spend their time participating in parades and cruises and attending car shows. Their big annual event is the Weekend Mystery Trip, a yearly staple on the Chassis Lassies’ calendar.

Diesel Dolls, Georgia

In the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, the women of Diesel Dolls are proving that they rule the roost. This newer group, established in 2013, lives by the slogan of “beautiful women and beautiful diesels.” They’re always welcoming interested new members who love racing and giving back to their community.

Lady Luck CC, West Coast

If you have a car from before 1969, you’re welcome in the Lady Luck CC. This group is led by its president, Betty, who owns a 1949 Kaiser Traveler. If you can’t attend any of the group’s drives, you can always check out the Lady Luck Car Care merchandize on its website; all items are environmentally friendly.

Octane Angels Car Club, California

Another group that prefers older cars is the Octane Angels Car Club. This Southern California group writes, “We love our cars, family and our friends.” If you have your own classic car, bring it around and join the club.

TBSS Ladies, Nationwide

At TBSS Ladies, it’s go big or go home. These women drive trucks instead of cars and call themselves “the most badass truck driving women out there!” This relatively new group is gaining members all the time.

Hell’s Belles Car Club, Nationwide

With branches also in Seattle and Los Angeles, Hell’s Belles Car Club originated in San Francisco, where founders Andrea “Crafty” DeHart and Mary Mack decided to start an organization for women who are passionate about classic cars. “The founders reckoned it was pretty special for a gal to own a classic car, but a testament of true love to own a sled in San Francisco,” they explain. As members relocated, other branches were founded that still exist today.

Miss Shifters, Washington

Yet another club for classic car lovers, Spokane, Washington’s Miss Shifters is for women whos rides are pre-1979. The group hosts monthly meetings where you can learn more about the organization’s objectives and planned activities. You can also pick up some Miss Shifters merch on the group’s website.

Heart Wrenchers Auto Club, California

A few women enrolled in the automotive program at Skyline College in San Bruno, California, decided to start their own organization in 2010. They called it the Heart Wrenchers Auto Club. Even though the members are still full-time students, they have developed a mentor program at area high schools and host fundraisers and other events.

woman looking back at other cyclists

Cycling Groups

Velo Girls, California

Velo Girls have members of all ages that gather from Half Moon Bay to Mendocino to Morgan Hill and beyond. Established in 2002, this group was awarded the Club of the Year title by USA Cycling in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008. Riders enjoy cruising on cyclocrossers, mountain bikes and more.

Little Bellas, Vermont

In 2007, Sabra and Lea Davison started Little Bellas, an organization in Jericho, Vermont, that teaches young girls ages 7 to 16 years old how to ride mountain bikes and eat healthily. The organization has become so popular that it’s grown beyond Vermont to other chapters across the country. Girls can join day camps or enroll in summer programs.

Women’s Cycling Association (WCA), nationwide

You don’t necessarily have to ride to be a part of WCA; as long as you care about women riders, you’re welcome here. “The WCA seeks to unify and represent women cyclists and advocate on their behalf; to sporting governing bodies, race organizers, and team management…the WCA will work towards meeting our platform goals by lobbying for equal rights for women cyclists, reviewing existing policies and advocating for changes, and networking with grassroots programs that provide support and guidance to cyclists,” the organization says.

The Amy D. Foundation, Colorado

Amy Alison Dombroski was a professional cyclist and U23 National Championship winner before her life was sadly cut short. The Amy D. Foundation was established to memorialize her. This Colorado nonprofit supports the development of female cyclists by providing equipment and mentoring to up-and-coming competitive athletes, and working with Little Bellas to inspire young riders.

PA Women’s Cycling, Pennsylvania

Established in 2007, PA Women’s Cycling seeks to unite women riders in the state and inform them about events in their area. No matter where you live in Pennsylvania, this group only communicates digitally, so you’re never too far away. Some of the teams that are part of this organization include Alliance Environmental in Southeastern, Bikeline/LWA in Lehigh Valley and CCV/Iron Hill in Chester County.

woman cyclist

Mountain2Mountain, Colorado

Nonprofit organization Mountain2Mountain seeks “to amplify the voices of women and girls through access to education, the power of street art, the solidarity of activism, and the freedom of the bicycle.”

Established in 2006, the group became a nonprofit several years later. The Global Solidarity Ride, in association with JustGiving, takes place in multiple countries. The organization also has an Afghan Cycling Program, which lets women cyclists ride in Afghanistan (Mountain2Mountain’s riders were the first to do so) to promote gender equality.

Bikefit Sunflowers, Ontario, Canada

In Canada, nonprofit Bikefit Sunflowers host bike events between May and September, going out weekly. Your skill level shouldn’t deter you from putting on your helmet and getting out there, especially considering the group always has a ride leader who has cycled for years and can help those who are less experienced. Riders are divided into two groups: the Sport Rider is more athletic and skilled while the Recreational Rider is in it for fun and to learn more.

CycloFemme, Nationwide

The women at CycloFemme have a mantra: “Honor the past, celebrate the present, empower the future.” The group is planning a big ride in May 2016, and you’re welcome to bike along with them. Do watch the short video that the members put together called “CycloFemme: One of Many.”

Wisconsin Women’s Cycling, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Women’s Cycling welcomes any woman in the state with a bicycle. Just be prepared to ride almost any time of year because the members of this group are known to bike in both the winter coldness and summer heat. In July 2016, the group will hold its annual Wisconsin Bike Festival and Women’s Century Ride Supporting the Wisconsin Women’s Fund in Cedarburg, which is known for its picturesque riding paths.

Black Girls Do Bike, Nationwide

With chapters across the US, Black Girls Do Ride’s mission statement is to prove just that. If you find that there are no chapters near you, the group encourages you to start one. You only need a lead rider (known as a “Shero” in this club), and then you can set up a Facebook page and events for your chapter.


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©zigf/123RF Stock Photo, Up-Free, John Trefethen, Coda2

people on a mountain blue sky

There are few better feelings than giving back to a charity organization that’s doing its part to make the world a better place.

Although many associate the holidays with giving, any time of the year is a good one to donate to your favorite charity. Sometimes, these organizations even make it easier by hosting events where you can mingle and raise money for a great cause.

Here are 21 winter charity events in Colorado that are all worth checking out.

Spay-Ghetti & No Balls in Lakewood

When and where: Thursday, February 25, at the Lakeview Wellness & Event Center

The coyly-named Spay-Ghetti & No Balls dinner is hosted by SpayToday, Neuter Now!, a group that promotes low-cost sterilization services so animals don’t end up unwanted in shelters. This is the group’s first dinner and coincides with World Spay Day Week. Nicolo’s Chicago Style Pizza is one sponsor, but other restaurants will serve food.

night sky light

The Denver Street School 2016 Shine Gala in Denver

When and where: Friday, February 26, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High (United Club Level)

Named such because the event lets attendees see the beautiful lights of Denver, the Denver Street School’s Shine Gala includes a dinner and a silent auction with items for bidding such as gift certificates, jewelry, purses, art and more. The Denver Street School, established in 1985 by Tom Tillapaugh, helps students who are at risk of getting into drugs and crime.

The State of the Town & 2nd Mayor’s Ball Gala and Silent Auction in Parker

When and where: Saturday, February 27, at the Pace Center

Those who are a part of the Rotary Club in Parker are all volunteers who are passionate about their community and want to make Parker the best town it can be. The first part of the group’s event will be the State of the Town, which includes a luncheon. Later in the day will be the 2nd Mayor’s Ball Gala and Silent Auction, where there will be food, dancing and excitement, and all for a good cause.

An Elegant Evening in Eolus in Durango

When and where: Saturday, February 27, at Eolus Bar & Dining

Eolus, a local restaurant, will honor iAM MUSIC, a nationwide nonprofit organization that introduces the beauty and power of music to students after school. Professional musicians act as teachers, instructing children how to play and enjoy music. This event will feature the music of Hello Dollface and includes a cocktail hour, wine pairing and a seven-course dinner.

The 2016 Denver Heart Ball in Denver

When and where: Saturday, February 27, at the Hyatt Regency at the Colorado Convention Center

The Denver Heart Ball calls this night “a celebration of caring and sharing.” In the past, the event earned $51 million in funds that were used to better neighborhoods in Colorado and other states. In its 17th year, the event has a theme called a Stroke of Red and will raise money to improve stroke awareness and treatments.

A Kick-Off Celebration to CKS Paddlefest in Buena Vista

When and where: Thursday, March 3, at Eddyline Restaurant at South Main

Colorado Kayak Supply, or CKS, founded in 1978, has been around longer than any other store of its kind in the state. The first CKS Paddlefest was in 2001, and since then the store’s purpose has grown to teach others about safety on the water while having a blast. Before bringing out the boats, make sure to attend this event, which includes a basket raffle, a live art raffle, a performance from Douglas Francisco and a four-course meal with Eddyline craft beer.

reaching hands

Salute to Excellence in Education Scholarship & Awards Gala in Denver

When and where: Friday, March 4, at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel Denver

Also known as TheEduCtr, the Education Center offers workshops and educational resources to save young students who might slip through the cracks and never obtain their GEDs. The nonprofit’s Salute to Excellence in Education Scholarship & Awards Gala will focus on black teachers and mentors in particular.

Invest in Kids 17th Annual Jane-A-Thon in Denver

When and where: Friday, March 4, at Mary Jane Mountain at Winter Park Resort

Aiming to provide a better way of life for kids in poverty, Invest in Kids has hosted its Jane-A-Thon for nearly 20 years. It blends snowboarding and skiing with prizes, raffles, food and entertainment. In 2015, Invest in Kids received $70,000 in donations.

The Fourth Annual Journey Event in Denver

When and where:  Friday, March 4, at the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center

The Junior League of Denver welcomes any and all Denver volunteers who want to improve literacy for those in the city and the state. Former first daughter Jenna Welch Bush Hager will be the keynote speaker at the organization’s event, the Journey. Hager’s speech will reflect “the Power of Compassion,” the thematic focus of the night’s festivities. With silent auctions, live auctions, dinner and drinks, there will be plenty going on that evening.

The Denver Jewish Day School’s 2016 Annual Dinner & Gala in Denver

When and where: Saturday, March 5, at the Grand Hyatt Denver

The Denver Jewish Day School is a K-12 school that teaches students all they need to know to prepare for college while including the importance of their Jewish heritage into some lessons. In March, the school will have been open for 40 years, and so its staff will host an Annual Dinner & Gala. This event is in honor of Bryan Hay, and Jocey and Jeff Kraus.

Saturday Night Alive to Benefit the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in Denver

When and where: Saturday, March 5, at the Seawell Grand Ballroom

The Saturday Night Alive event in honor of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts is always a big hit each year. Denver residents gather to connect with more than 800 prominent city figures who are involved in the arts. The proceeds from the event benefit up to 68,000 students who may receive a theater education program so that these kids can experience the fun and wonder of live theater.

flying air balloon

Reach for the Stars Gala Presents a Spaghetti Western in Westminster

When and where: Saturday, March 5, at the Denver Marriott Westminster

Founded in 1985, the Five Star Education Foundation has expanded its reach to most Five Star education facilities in Westminster and beyond. The Reach for the Stars Gala will have live bluegrass music, a spaghetti meal (chicken is an optional alternative), and silent and live auctions.

Maverick Thinkers 2016 in Denver

When and where: Wednesday, March 9, at Grand Hyatt Denver

Helping prevent homelessness for young people in Colorado Springs and the greater Denver area, Urban Peak will host its yearly Maverick Thinkers event. Some kids and teens who have been supported by Urban Peak will be there, as will Project Helping and Snooze: AM Eatery. The event, organized by Bruce DeBoskey, will have a Q&A session and a dinner. You can reserve your own table.  

The CBCA Annual Business for the Arts Awards Luncheon in Denver

When and where: Wednesday, March 9, at the Seawell Grand Ballroom

The Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, or CBCA, has a 30-year history of introducing the importance of art in young lives. This nonprofit’s Annual Business for the Arts Awards Luncheon will “salute exemplary business engagement with the arts through philanthropy, innovative programs, volunteerism, creative workspaces and personal leadership.” More than 700 businesspeople and artists are expected to attend.

The 17th Annual Denver & Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame Dinner in Denver

When and where: Wednesday, March 9, at the Mile High Ballroom at the Colorado Convention Center

Visit Denver is a tourism organization that offers information on the city’s restaurants, hotels, events, entertainment, travel, activities and more. For nearly 20 years, Denver residents have had the Denver & Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame Dinner to look forward to. Joni Watkins is organizing this year’s festivities, which will include dinner and entertainment.

Great Chefs of the West Gala in Denver

When and where: Thursday, March 10, at the Denver Marriott Tech Center

Known for attendance numbers of more than 400 people in the Denver area alone, the Great Chefs of the West Gala, hosted by the National Kidney Foundation, continues to be a hit. Patrons have donated more than $112,000 in the past, and that all goes toward learning more about kidney conditions and cures.


Jokers, Jewels and Justice in Denver

When and where: Thursday, March 10, at Brown Palace Hotel

GLBT Community Center of Colorado is raising money for its Training and Legal Program with its Jokers, Jewels & Justice gambling fundraising event. Those who were involved in helping the U.S. Supreme Court rule in favor of Amendment 2 will be celebrated that night.

The Annual Circle of Light Photo Project & Reception in Denver

When and where: Thursday, March 10, at the Space Gallery

With its goal to preserve vision for residents across Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank will host its Annual Circle of Light Photo Project & Reception again this year. There’s a VIP reception an hour before the photo exhibit opens to the general public. There will also be a silent auction and reception with drinks and food after the exhibit. All art on display is from those who received corneal transplants and had their sight restored.

The Mental Health Art Benefit 2016 in Denver

When and where: Saturday, March 12, at R2 Studio & Gallery

A mental health organization staffed entirely by women, Empowered Partnerships is hosting its First Annual Mental Health Art Benefit. All proceeds received at the event go towards furthering Empowered Partnerships’ goals. Silent auctions will go off all night, each art piece created by someone involved in mental health services on a professional or personal level. Several speakers will also attend.

The 35th Boulder Distinguished Citizen and Eagle Scout Dinner in Boulder

When and where: Wednesday, March 16, at the CU Touchdown Club

The Indian Peaks District is a branch of the Longs Peak Council in association with the Boy Scouts of America. The organization invites children to become Boy Scouts and learn various life skills. The 35th Boulder Distinguished Citizen and Eagle Scout Dinner will reward Gina and Frank Day for their commitment to the organization. The Indian Peaks District will welcome donations at the event to keep the nonprofit running for another successful year.

Second Wind Fund’s Gift of Life Luncheon in Golden

When and where: Thursday, March 24, at the Applewood Golf Course

Named such because of its dedication towards preventing child and teenage suicide, the Second Wind Fund finds therapists for kids and can even cover the cost of some appointments if families are struggling to make ends meet. The Gift of Life Luncheon through the Colorado Trust will feature live music from the Green Mountain High School band and a speech from Colorado School Safety Resource director Christine Harms.


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Nicholas Swanson, Josh Felise, Avel Chuklanov, Unsplash, PublicDomainPictures