I am full of optimism for the future. Amy’s spirit carries onward through the Amy D. Foundation and what that programming has been able to accomplish in the three years since she passed. With the support of a wonderful community that celebrates her life and legacy, the Amy D. Foundation programming is building participation and opportunity for women in the sport, embracing the confident pursuit of lofty dreams and facilitating personal development that transcends the sport.
The Amy D. Foundation has fielded composite teams of riders to compete at the Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont, USA Pro Challenge in Colorado, Tour of the Gila in New Mexico, and Redlands Bicycle Classic in California, creating new opportunities and unique mentor relationships. The Amy D. Foundation has enabled a small number of talented and driven young women to pursue their dreams competing at cyclocross races across the US and, increasingly, abroad. The Amy D. Foundation collaborates with amazing organizations like Little Bellas to promote the development of the sport and healthy lifestyles at a young age. Amy’s own race bicycles are seeing another life in the hands of young women who are exploring the world around them. The planning and logistics are tremendous. As much as this is a story worth telling in itself, I believe the story of the people we have had supporting the programming is equally compelling. Since founding this organization, we have consistently had the dedicated support of folks in the cycling community that were touched by my sister, Amy Dombroski. The names of these people are well-recognized within the cycling world; their roles as teammates and supporters of Amy, however, were far outweighed by the ensuing friendships with her. These people are “steering the ship” at any given event, just as they each had a part in steering Amy’s short but full life. It is incredibly powerful to have folks like this guiding the Amy D. Foundation programming, not only because of their collective experience in understanding the sport of cycling, but because of their collective experience in understanding the person and spirit of Amy Dombroski. The mission of the Amy D. Foundation is so much bigger than simply remembering Amy; however, she will always be the essence of the organization and a guiding light for how we as a community use the power of this organization to develop young women, athletes, and the sport that we love.
I like to think of the Amy D. Foundation as one big family. This family includes both those who the programming supports and those who support the programming. From a legal point of view, the Amy D. Foundation entity is pretty clearly defined, and need not consist of much more than a mission statement, bank account, and an address. But from a community perspective, the Amy D. Foundation is defined by the people who enable the execution of the mission: the people who donate their time, money, and resources to make it happen. Legally, the Amy D. Foundation home is in Boulder, Colorado. I highly encourage you to get lost in Amy’s own words about home, far more prolific than mine. But the point is this: As Amy had many places she called home, this organization also has many homes. The homes of the Amy D. Foundation expand to the extent of the community that defines and supports the organization. Amy went to Belgium to pursue a dream and found a home there [as an aside, Mud-and-Cowbells Greg Keller’s reflective words about chasing dreams, inspired after Amy’s passing, is a must-read]. I’m immensely proud that this organization has been a part in enabling young women the opportunities to confidently expand their horizons and pursue their dreams. The definition of home thus expands, as it does with every young woman and driven athlete that is provided an opportunity through the Amy D. Foundation.
We all have an opportunity to learn and develop through this organization just as we have the opportunity to grow the reach of this organization. As a husband, father, athlete, Ph.D., Professional Engineer, and President of a non-profit organization, I continue to learn about challenge, failure, and success. And as a brother I continue to learn from a sister six years my younger.
Consistent with the way Amy lived her life, the mission of the organization is bold and ambitious, yet welcoming and accessible. In the future, we will work to increase the scope and accessibility of the programming to create greater community outreach and continuity within the execution of the mission. I envision localized chapters of Amy D. Foundation programming that create a fun and inviting atmosphere for cyclists at a range of abilities, a developmental cyclocross and mtb program that provides healthy mentorship of young athletes, and greater opportunity through more consistent Amy D. Foundation road cycling teams at events around the country.
I wholeheartedly invite you to be part of the story.