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A Story worth Reading

Zion Spurgeon motorcycling through Capitol Reef National Park.Zion Spurgeon climbing Mt. Rainer glacier.

Google loves fresh copy. So much so that this dominant search engine ranks websites with authentic new verbiage higher than those without. It’s why websites have blogs.

Unleaded has a blog. And a concern: That people don’t read anymore, particularly online.

So we added a mention at the end of one of our December blogs that any person who read to the end of the brief blog (it was only four paragraphs total) was invited to contact Unleaded with the promise we would write a story on that person.

Zion Spurgeon still reads. Avidly.

And he is a story worth reading himself.

Employed by Commerce Bank based out of Kansas City/St. Louis, Zion found his way to Colorado like many young people do—through his passion for the outdoors, specifically rock climbing. While Missouri is regarded as America’s “lesser-known rock climbing destination,” Zion was admittedly impressed by Colorado’s Fourteeners. When he got wind of Commerce Bank’s expansion to Colorado, he flew into DIA to interview and was again impressed (while making the drive between DIA and Commerce Bank on East Colfax) by the number of construction cranes dotting the skyline. It reinforced that construction was on a strong upsurge in Colorado, and since construction and development loans are one of the bank’s focus, that too boded well.

Three times is the charm, and Zion was impressed with bank president Darren Lemkau and Senior Vice President Niall Mooney when they asked him, “What do you want to do with your life?” Zion’s response was to ride his motorcycle down to Patagonia, Argentina. Mooney asked, “How much time do you think you’ll need off for that?” Zion was sold.

Zion hasn’t made it to Patagonia quite yet. But the zealous athlete and Missouri State College grad has made a point of volunteering time with the refugee teens at the African Community Center in Aurora. He was prompted to get involved during the 2016 presidential campaign, conscience of arguments he believed could create fear and a sense of not belonging among the displaced now in our country.

“I took a look at how I’d feel if I was a refugee, not safe in my homeland, relocated to another country, unable to speak the language and then being unwanted,” Zion said, deconstructing his gut response to the campaign smack. He dedicates time weekly with the teens, helping with coursework, explaining rudimentary word meanings to kids who don’t yet speak English but are fluent in five or more other languages. He gets down to it explaining colloquialisms, and has introduced a group of them to rock climbing.

Giving back isn’t a new thing for Zion. Before he moved to Colorado, he devoted a day to landscaping a group home. There, he met Erin (now his wife), who was also donating her time to the project.

Zion’s email signature says simply at the bottom: Live Life. Actually, he doesn’t use a period after the statement. As if it’s an ongoing pursuit, an unfinished action, a work in progress. That’s what good reads are made of.

A special thank you goes to Zion for giving Unleaded this opportunity to write about our readers.

PHOTOS: Zion Spurgeon motorcycling through Capitol Reef National Park and on a glacier while climbing Mt. Rainer last year.

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