On Thursday, October 29th, we traded in our bike shorts and moisture-wicking shirts for some fancier duds at the 2nd Annual Firefly Ball Awards Gala. This annual fundraiser for LACBC helps us recognize local leaders doing great bike work in our communities and have a fun-filled evening full of great people, excellent food, tasty drinks, auctions, and music.
This year, we headed next door from LACBC Headquarters to The Majestic Hall. After years of watching people line up on select nights to get in and seeing that the space was being used for filming, it was nice to finally see what was inside.
The night began with a cocktail hour, a silent auction, and good conversation.
Taylor Nichols, an actor, Mid City West Community Council member, and League Cycling Instructor, kicked off the night as our emcee and paid tribute to many of the people that have helped make L.A. County a better place to bike.
The future mayor of Los Angeles, 11-year-old Matty Grossman, then came to the stage to encourage us all to not be bystanders and stand up for what we believe in. We introduced former Mayor Richard Riordan, who was L.A.’s cycling mayor before Matty was even born. Mayor Riordan has presented the Passionate Pedal Award for his work promoting bicycling in Los Angeles with Mayor Riordan’s Community Bike Tours and support of bike access on the L.A. River Path.
Damian Kevitt then spoke on Councilmember Mitch Englander, who could not attend the gala, and his dedication to ending hit-and-run crimes. John Jones III of East Side Riders Bike Club and Councilmember Joe Buscaino’s office then introduced Councilmember Joe Buscaino. Together, Councilmember Englander and Buscaino pushed for a citywide hit-and-run alert system that is now in place. A video on Councilmember Buscaino’s biking adventures played on the screen to the delight of the audience. Then Councilmember Buscaino came to the stage, and knowing his audience, greeted us with, “Hello, one-percenters!”
Our Executive Director, Tamika Butler, then came up to talk about LACBC’s work to make L.A. County a healthy, safe, equitable, and fun place to ride a bike, with an emphasis on Operation Firefly, our bike safety and education program sponsored by the Laemmle Charitable Foundation. She recognized the work of Tish and Greg Laemmle for all they have done for bicycling in Los Angeles. As you can see from above, Tish and Greg also provide us with a lot of “awwww” moments.
Andres Ramirez, a South L.A. activist, then presented the Alex Baum Achievement Award to his colleague and friend, Tafarai Bayne. A current L.A. Transportation Commissioner, Tafarai was also a board member for CicLAvia who used his strategic planning and community organizing skills to help with its expansion to South L.A. Here are Andres, Tafarai, and Tamika each rocking suspenders, a hat, and a bowtie.
We then closed out the night with more music from VerBS and DJ El Ray and took more photos. Someone also inspired a missed connection. The night had a little bit of everything!
Check out all of the photos from the night on the LACBC Facebook page. Photos by Kyle Espeleta.
Congrats to all of our honorees, and thank you to our sponsors:
Frame Sponsor: Riordan Foundation
Wheel Sponsor: Lynda & Stewart Resnick
Cranks Sponsor: Josh Cohen, Los Angeles Bicycle Attorney
Hub Sponsor: Bikeable Communities, Carrie Ungerman & Arthur Pinchev, Councilmember Joe Buscaino, Climate Ride’s Team LACBC, Douglas John, Greg & Tish Laemmle, Pocrass & De Los Reyes, LLP, Kelly Perigoe & Tamika Butler, C.C. Pascal Charitable Foundation, SCAG, The REEF, and Walk Bike Burbank
Tandem Sponsor: Stifel, Sam Schwartz Engineering, and Conor Lynch Foundation
Beer sponsored by Angel City Brewery, Vodka by Ventura Spirits, Wine by D’Aquino Wines. Prizes and giveaways by Rapha, KIND Snacks, Pure Fix Cycles, Tern Bicycles, Timbuk2, Greg & Tish Laemmle, and Pocrass & De Los Reyes.