APRIL 2015: VOLUNTEERS OF THE MONTH
Trent Whittaker & Zachary Rynew
CicLAvia had over 500 volunteers for the CicLAvia - The Valley route for pre, during and post event. Volunteers played such a crucial role during our outreach into the communities and neighborhoods surrounding The Valley route. We give thanks to each and every volunteer that put into time into making CicLAvia - The Valley possible. We'd especially like to acknowledge two volunteers who went above and beyond their respective roles to demonstrate "Valley Pride" through volunteering.
Trent Whittaker has been volunteering for CicLAvia since 2011. Having volunteered for mostly all CicLAvia's, Trent serves as a Expert Volunteer Angel on our team. Trent particularly loves riding the route as a Route Angels. He strategized his method of mobility on the day of to ensure he both enjoys the route and helps those in need. "When I "Route Angel" at CicLAvia I take my cruiser. It allows me to load up with tools and first aid, and forces me to move slowly so I don't miss any cyclist in need". He stated.
In his recent volunteer efforts, he was a prime volunteer in our Route Notification process. He did not only assist our outreach team but lead most of our outreach efforts. Our team was blown away by his dedication to helping others.
When asked about his favorite thing about CicLAvia, he stated, "My favorite thing about CicLAvia is witnessing thousands of healthy people replace unhealthy cars on major streets every now and then."
During his off-time, Trent works as a Pastry Chef for Sweet Lady Jane in West Hollywood and is also an active volunteer for Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and has been a volunteer diver at the Aquarium of the Pacific for the last 15 years.
Zachary Rynew first came to us in the Fall of 2014 with such willingness to assist with outreaching to local groups for the Valley route. As a Valley Ambassador for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and Founder of CiclaValley.org Zach was able to translate his passion and support for our CicLAvia through his website by CicLAValley.org. His post mostly focused on cycling events and advocacy opportunities within the San Fernando Valley but gave special mentions to CicLAvia.
Zach actively spoke out in support of CicLAvia at Neighborhood Council meetings and Community Meetings. He blogged about our outreach efforts during route notification, community meetings and dedicated several hours to help our Outreach Team. The emphasis he places on open streets being all inclusive and such a fun event was reflective in his remarks at the meetings. "It's not really about bike, but people. We built this city. Now, we get to share it!" he stated.
When asked what motivated him to become a part of the volunteer team, he replied with, "I had never been to an event that brought the Los Angeles together in this capacity since the 1984 Olympics. Fortunately, CicLAvia comes a few times a year, instead of every 50!"
We asked both Trent and Zach if they had any advice for someone who is considering becoming a volunteer?
"Volunteering is building community, something you can never put a price on" -Zach
"I'd let "thinking about it" volunteers know that if you can find an organization who's mission is similar to yours, sharing what little extra time you have with them will be the easiest and most fun thing you'll ever do." -Trent
Thank you Zach and Trent for all your dedication and support!
Want to learn more about our volunteer opportunities? Click here!