CFGV Defensive Driving Scholarship

Scholarships & Awards

Defensive Driving Scholarship Winner

“If setting up the Defensive Driving scholarship has saved just one life or helped a young person avoid an accident, it’s more than worth it.”
Lee & Polly Spann

Defensive Driving Scholarship Founders


About the Scholarship

Grandparents Lee and Polly Spann saw astonishing improvement in their grandchildrens’ driving skills after sending them to MasterDrive, in Colorado Springs. Partnering with the Community Foundation, they created the Defensive Driving Award.  Other donors have added to the fund, and this year, at least four young drivers will receive scholarships to MasterDrive!

Winner of the first award in 2002, Erikka Viehman recently shared a story that says it all:

Rikki ViehmanA few winters ago in Alaska, there was traffic all around me, a guardrail overlooking an inlet, and suddenly, a patch of black ice under me.   At 50 miles an hour, my car began to fishtail into the oncoming traffic lane.  The old skills I’d learned in 2002 kicked in and I took control of my car.  I missed all the cars surrounding me, didn’t hit the guard rail, spun around and safely landed in a snow bank facing the opposite direction. MasterDrive saved my life.

Thanks, indeed, to our donors!  You’re saving lives. 

Special thanks to the Gunnison Car Club!

Read why driving is a SKILL — “It’s a psychomotor activity that involves both brain and body, much like playing a sport or a musical instrument.”  — from Auto Week, Who’s Teaching the Teens? by Kevin A. Wilson on 10/14/2011

Check it out!


Parents with a new driver in the family brace themselves for many worrisome good-byes as their newly-licensed teen drives away.  More than 5,000 youngsters die in car crashes in this country every year – and over 300,000 are seriously injured.  Parents are rightly concerned about their teenage driver’s safety.

A Defensive Driving course teaches skills that can save lives.  For the twelfth year, donors to the Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley are providing a tuition-paid Teen Skills Training Camp through MasterDrive of Colorado Springs.   Gunnison Valley teens with a Driving Learner’s Permit or a Provisional Driving Permit (ages 15 to 18) are eligible for this award that teaches car control in various conditions and situations.  The award also includes an allowance for some expenses.

The student receives individual lifesaving skills training in their own vehicle with a professional instructor, learning crash avoidance and precision maneuvering, controlling the vehicle’s changing weight dynamics, braking, backing, and skid control and recovery.

Jamey Albers, spoke enthusiastically of the program:  “MasterDrive was capped off by a parent recital, where my father commented on my recently learned skills.  He said that I was taught different things than he was, and that I was already a better driver!”  Previous winner Karleigh Stewart spoke enthusiastically of the program:  “It was so much fun and also very helpful.  I learned a lot about driving safety and what to do when you’re in a crisis situation.  I think all new drivers should attend this class.”

The mother of another award winner saw an enormous improvement in her daughter’s driving habits between the trip over and the return trip two days later.  A side benefit was the $60 savings in each semi-annual auto insurance premium.

For more information, please visit MasterDrive’s website,  Applications for this award are available each spring at GHS or CBHS Offices and at the Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley office, located at 525 N. Main Street in the Law of the Rockies building — or just click on the link at the top of this page!  Please call 641-8837 for more information.  Application deadline is mid to late April each year.

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Defensive Driving Thank You

“Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to participate in an amazing experience that will help me long into the future. I learned many new skills to help me grow as a safe and responsible driver (plus drifting was pretty fun). Thank you again for all that you do for our community.”


2019 Defensive Driving Scholar

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