Updated: July 9, 2013 at 12:24 pm
Only an unstoppable woman could help other women become unstoppable.
Margot Lane was a little incredulous when she was named the 2013 Unstoppable Woman of the Year at an annual luncheon May 22 at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The award, she said, was very special to her, but she was instead overwhelmed by the Karen Possehl Women's Endowment scholar graduates who had each overcome incredible odds.
"Their future is going to be so much brighter" with college degrees, she said.
Looking out across a tea party luncheon for 470, Lane praised the endowment program for mentoring non-traditional female students to success. Lane had been a non-traditional student, not returning to college to study toward a history degree until she was 40 and her three children were grown.
Lane, a Colorado Springs resident since the ninth grade, has been long active in a long list of community organizations in the arts, education and community service, as well as Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Goodwill and many others. At first she was a boots-on-the-ground volunteer but later, through the John E. and Margaret L. Lane Foundation, was able to support them monetarily. The foundation was formed with her late husband, John. Their family business had been Lane Affiliated Cos., Pepsi franchises in three states, which they later sold.
The foundation and Margot Lane's largest gift was $4 million for the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences at UCCS, where mental and physical care for seniors will be integrated. In addition, the family supports research in pancreatic cancer, which claimed the lives of her husband and her son, Bruce.
Lane also designed an environmentally forward villa-style home in the Broadmoor that she has opened to events sponsored by the nonprofits she has volunteered with.
As an Unstoppable Woman honoree, Lane joins Sharon Berthrong, Mary Osborne, Mary Lou Makepeace, Karen Possehl, Barbara Yalich, Mary Mashburn, Mary Ellen McNally and Kathy Loo.
The KPWE scholars that so impressed Lane were the 2013 graduates: Jessica Blount, psychology and ethnic studies; Toscha Lax, business and sports management; Kary Maddox, geography and environmental studies; and Tiffany Sinclair, psychology. Sinclair's story was told in a Gazette story about UCCS graduation: http://tinyurl.com/q8laara
LINDA nAVARRO, THE GAZETTE
The 65th annual Pikes Peak Range Ride was the shortest in history: 30 minutes long, down 12 downtown blocks.
Usually the several hundred men, many real ranchers and cowboys along with urban cowboys out of their downtown offices for the five-day ride, hit the trail after the street breakfast that kicks off the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo events. This time they rode only through downtown.
The Black Forest fire had sparked, and "out of respect for our community and our Range Riders who were impacted," the ride was canceled for only the second time in its 64-year history, said Range Riders President Ted Severn. The first cancellation: the Hayman fire in 2002.
Last year the Waldo Canyon fire struck in June, during the Range Ride. Severn said he will never forget coming down from the mountains to a panorama of flames and smoke. Several Range Riders had been rushed from the ride site early to be closer to their endangered homes.
This year took a more profound toll, Severn said. "About 35 Range Riders were involved in the swath of fire and several lost their homes. Probably double that number were assisting those in trouble."
Altogether, 511 homes were lost in the fire.
Severn said one grateful Range Rider told him that just as the evacuation call came in, he and his family looked out to see neighbors and Range Riders pulling onto his property with horse trailers. Trailer after trailer after trailer. The ranch's animals were loaded up and rushed away in all different directions.Some of the family's material possessions were trucked away instantly. This Range Rider's ranch was one of the properties that burned to the ground.
"I think it was the community and the Range Riders at their best," said Severn. "People helping people, friends helping friends, first responders, firefighters, assistance from all the churches. It was just outstanding."
The three traditional Range Ride events that were held were the street breakfast, the Range Ride women's luncheon - only fellows go on the ride and the gals have their own social event - and the after-ride dinner on the Sunday, when the riders traditionally return. The dinner was June 23 and Severn called it "a Black Forest victory party."
Special Black Forest collections brought in $5,300 at the breakfast as well as $2,000 at the women's luncheon. A donation of $1,000 was made at the after-ride dinner.
Among the after-ride traditions was the salute to the group's "Empty Saddles," Range Riders who died the past year: Bill Scott, Brad Bent, Bud Shepard, Bill Sausser, Gene Vories and Dr. A.L. "Little Doc" Ingerick.
Receiving 60-year pins were Chuck Brown and Rex Bennett.
Gary Ziegler, who, as ride director, had spent a busy year planning an event that existed until one week before the ride, had one duty he especially enjoyed: designing the official saddle for the ride.
Another tradition is the naming of the Range Riders' Silver Spur honoree, an outstanding member of the community who has had a major impact. The 2013 winner was University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak (award story: http://tinyurl.com/n9kzqjt)