SF Bicycle Coalition member-volunteers park your bike at music festivals, pass you tote bags full of goodies on Bike to Work Day and chat with you on the street about our latest projects. They support our work by lending their hands at events, lending their voices on the phone at our Phone Banks and lending their time all year long. We are profoundly grateful to the time and energy from each of the nearly 850 people who collectively gave over 9,000 hours last year to keep the wheels of advocacy spinning and help make San Francisco a more enjoyable and safer city for biking.
To celebrate these amazing folks, we gathered with 40 SF Bicycle Coalition volunteers last week at our winter Volunteer Appreciation Party. At the Dolan Law Firm office, amidst New Belgium brews and Littlejohn’s chocolates (all graciously donated), we raised a glass to everyone who volunteered over the past six months and gave awards to those who went above and beyond in 2015.
The 2015 Volunteer Appreciation Awards went to…
Most Active Member (The Cathy Kora Award): Paul Valdez
We said it last year, but the most active member is and most likely always will be Cathy Kora. Last year we gave her a prize, and this year, we’re recognizing her runner-up. Whether it’s coming to monthly Volunteer Nights, packing up our office when we moved, parking bikes, speaking at public hearings, signing petitions or attending events, we know we can count on Paul Valdez to show up with a smile. He brightens our office with succulents and haikus, and always waves to us through our office window when he rolls through the Valencia jughandle.
Most Active Ambassador: Doug Betten
In his rookie year as an SF Bicycle Coalition volunteer, Doug Betten rocked it. After becoming a trained Bicycle Ambassador in April of 2015, Doug joined us at 10 outreach events last year and clocked 27 hours of outreach time – including two Bike to Work Day stations! We are so grateful to Doug and all our Bicycle Ambassadors for getting the bicycle-word out on the street.
Most Active Valet Volunteer: Alex Heeger (again!)
With over 45 hours of Valet volunteering on the books in 2015 alone, Alex Heeger spent more than double the amount of time parking bikes than our runner-up in this category. For the second year in a row, we are humbled by Alex’s commitment to our organization and his dedication to keeping your bike safe wherever you choose to ride.
Rookie of the Year: Anakaren Gutierrez
Anakaren got her start parking bikes with us and quickly became one of our most active Valet volunteers, but her dedication didn’t stop there. She also donated 109(!) hours to our other projects: Bike to Work Day, Tour de Fat and helping out around the office. Anakaren was always willing to pitch in when we needed her, and we hope to continue seeing her positive attitude in the coming year.
Bike About Town Award: Dave Baker
Dave gets this special award for being our poster distribution pinch-hitter. Every time we have a major event, he’ll swoop in and distribute posters on all the routes we have left unclaimed. As a result, he’s hung Bike to Work Day, Tour de Fat and Winterfest posters from the Excelsior to the Marina. Not only does Dave bike posters all over town, but he’s one of our most dedicated Bike Build mechanics. Dave, we are in awe.
Education All-Star: Juli Uota
It’s about time Juli wins an award. Although she was seriously in the running for Most Active Ambassador, we want to recognize her dedication to our education program, which teaches nearly 1,000 adults each year how to bike confidently and comfortably in San Francisco. After taking our Adult Learn to Ride class in 2008 and becoming a frequent biker herself, Juli created “Let’s Practice Together” rides to help new riders feel more comfortable and confident riding in the city. She now hosts these beginners-only rides year-round. Thank you, Juli, for all you do.
The SF Bicycle Coalition holds Volunteer Appreciation Parties twice per year, and everyone who’s volunteered in the previous six months is invited to attend. That’s just one of many great reasons to join us as a volunteer: Check out our upcoming projects, and sign up today.