Rider, Adventurer and Philanthropist
Gone but Most Assuredly, Never to Be Forgotten!
Our world lost a most valuable Peaceful Warrior on Saturday,
June 13, 2009. Woody (Donna) Woodward, one of the founding members of the Moving
Violations Motorcycle Club, a member of the Motor Maids, Inc., Sirens Womens
Motorcycle Club of NYC, BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, American Motorcyclist
Association and central member of the Women's Motorcyclist Foundation's all
volunteer army, passed peacefully in her sleep after a valiant battle against
Pride Days in Boston and New York will never be the same without Woody and
her infamous Rainbow Mohawk which helped to make her one of the most identifiable
icons in gay communities and in society at large. Woody was not to be denied.
She simply and directly worked her way into everyone’s heart. It did
not matter whether your politics were far left, far right or in between. Woody
was such an unforgettable, gregarious, loving, giving character; people from
all walks of life fell in love with her.
Woody was a motorcycle adventurer and philanthropist of the highest order.
As an explorer, she always took the path less traveled. As a philanthropist,
she gave of her time helping to raise millions of dollars towards the cures
for breast cancer and .HIV/AIDS.
We first met Woody in Barnstable, MA on Cape Cod. We were attending a Memorial
Day party. Suddenly, we heard Woody, from above, barking orders to a crew of
women helping to lay down a layer of new shingles on Lin Weatherby’s
roof. That was in 1982.
Over the years, we became aware of Woody’s many talents as a carpenter,
painter, wallpaper hanger, chimney sweep, mechanic, tour guide, archaeologist
and limo driver.
Over the years we would receive postcards from Woody with postmarks from North
Africa, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Europe and Australia.
During the early 80’s, Woody decided Mainland China would make an interesting
place to visit. So, she talked herself into a teaching job in the hill country
of China. There she taught English to Chinese citizens, many of whom likely
now speak English with a Boston cabbie’s accent. Did we mention that
Woody was a limo driver… often to the stars such as Lily Tomlin?
Woody often got to her destinations in unique ways. Once, Woody worked on a
freighter to travel down under. There she bought a used motorcycle, explored
Australia, sold the bike and worked another freighter home.
When Woody turned 50, she sent herself to Viet Nam, again she bought a used
bike, this time a dual sport mount. From Viet Nam she traveled solo all over
Woody gave her time to many causes; two in particular stand out, the eradication
of two devastating diseases. In doing so, she inspired others to do the same.
The irony, as a Peaceful Warrior and volunteer staff member for the Women’s
Motorcyclist Foundation, Woody was instrumental in helping to raise over 2.25
million dollars to fight breast cancer only to succumb to ovarian cancer.
Woody also worked tirelessly to raise funds and awareness around HIV and AIDS.
She was without question, the most colorful ride guard on the AIDS. fund raising
walks in Boston and bicycle rides from Boston to New York where she encouraged
riders and walkers in her Xena: Warrior Princess, Wonder Woman or Pink Rabbit
outfits aboard her green 1970 BMW /5.