by Alan Spooner
Cyclocross racer Jeremy Powers will be presenting Caitlin Thompson, founder of the Philadelphia Chapter of Little Bellas, with our BCYC Award at our annual 2018 Gala, in recognition of her work in motivating girls in the sport of mountain biking.
The Bicycle Coalition Gala, taking place on October 4, 2018, is a celebration of bicycling in the Greater Philadelphia Region and recognizes local leaders and change-makers that help make the Bicycle Coalition’s work possible. It is also our largest fundraising event of the year, with the majority of funds raised going toward our Bicycle Coalition Youth Cycling program.
In addition to raising money to provide our youth cycling program athletes with new opportunities, our annual fete celebrates our region’s cycling advocates and supports our efforts to make Philadelphia and the surrounding counties a great place to bike.
This year, the Gala is taking place at FAME (Feast at MaKen Events) in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, from 6pm to 9pm.
Caitlin Thompson founded and leads the Philadelphia Chapter of Little Bellas. When we spoke to Thompson about Little Bellas for our blog in 2016, she noted, “Little Bellas is an organization that has been around since 2007. [It] teaches young women how to ride mountain bikes while encouraging them to face challenges and to grow as a community of females while most importantly having fun.”
She noted the Little Bellas program not only teaches young women how to be better riders, “but stronger young women [who are] more ready to face the challenges that life throws at them and also willing to support each other as a community,” she noted.
Powers, a professional cyclocross racer, first worked with Bicycle Coalition Youth Cycling in 2016, when he hosted a cyclocross clinic on a course next to Sly Fox Brewery, and a presentation and Q&A sponsored by Piscitello Law and Lagunitas at Firth and Wilson Transport Cycles in Fishtown.
Jeremy did the clinic again with us in 2017, joining our very own Cyclocross star and BCYC program manager Taylor Kuyk-White. Like Taylor, Jeremy shares a love of the sport’s ability to transform lives. Jeremy founded the JAM fund in 2003 to help young, motivated cyclists achieve success both on and off the bike. JAM, a charity in Jeremy’s home state of Massachusetts, has a lot of things in common with our youth cycling program. The clinic was a great experience for our youth.
Last week, Powers announced that he has signed with Philadelphia’s own Fuji Bikes and has committed to racing with them in the 2018 season. Fuji USA, part of Advanced Sports Enterprises, and their retailer Performance Bikes, are gold sponsors for our Annual Gala & Awards Dinner. Our youth cycling team has a longstanding relationship with Fuji and ASE as this local company provides our program with road, mountain, and now cyclocross bikes free of charge as part of their sponsorship of our team.
Other Gala Honorees
Joining Caitlin on the podium at this year’s Gala will be Philadelphia’s Managing Director Michael DiBerardinis, receiving our Circuit Trail Award, and Don Smolenski, President of the Philadelphia Eagles receiving the Maguire Award as our event’s overall honoree.
We hope you can join us, as well. Sponsorships and more details are available at www.bikecoalitiongala.org and tickets will be going on sale at that site soon.
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