Classic-car buffs and motorcyclists alike shared in two events Sunday morning that Durangoans do best: having fun and raising money for worthy causes.
The mornings activities included a fundraising breakfast and a parade of classic cars and motorcycles, all starting from the Transit Center parking lot at Eight Street and Main Avenue.
The breakfast was for Building Homes for Heroes, which raises funds to help disabled veterans get their own homes designed for assisted living.
The program has built about 15 homes in four states in the relatively short time its been in existence, said Jon Sigillito, a Building Homes board member and owner of Durango Party Rentals. His company provided the tents and other amenities for the breakfast. The burritos were furnished by Durango Doughworks.
Sigillito said he got involved with Building Homes through a childhood friend, Andrew Pujol. According to the Building Homes website, after the terror attacks of Sept. 11,Pujol wanted to do something for disabled vets. He had worked with a similar group and decided to form his own.
He said that there are another 15 homes in the pipeline. In addition, the organization recently began a partnership with JP Morgan Chase to make use of homes in its inventory. These homes will be provided mortgage-free and modified as needed for the wounded veterans.
Sigillito also said Building Homes recently received a $400,000 grant from Advance Auto Parts and $250,000 from Home Depot.
This is the third year for the benefit breakfast, Sigillito said. The last two years drew about 225 people to the breakfast. This year may have seen somewhat fewer donors.
While Building Homes was hosting the breakfast, owners of classic and specialty cars started parking their vehicles in the First National Bank of Durango parking lot across the street from the Transit Center.
Among the cars on display were several 1960s Ford Mustangs, Thunderbirds of various vintages, old and new Corvettes, vehicles from the 1930s and 1940s, a classic Checker Yellow Cab with its New York City medallions and a number of other classics. About 30-plus cars were displayed there with owners willing to talk about their pride and joy.
At the same time, motorcyclists started collecting in the Transit Center lot. By the time the parade started at 11 a.m., there were an estimated 300 to 400 bikes, according to one Durango police officer. The bikes included classic and late models. Among the classics were the ubiquitous Harley-Davidsons, as well as an almost antique Cushman motor scooter and a restored Indian motorcycle.
The parade was led by a Durango police motorcycle-patrol officer and an honor guard of a cadet corps, the San Juan Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. The classic and specialty cars went first, followed by another officer and the throng of motorcycles.