Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Jim Swarzman Memorial Membership Drive: $10,000 Donated, and $23,000 more was Raised
Fellow cyclist Jim Swarzman, age 47, was killed by a hit-and-run driver in a large pick-up truck, possibly intentionally, while cycling in an unsupported 600km long-distance cycling event called a “brevet” early on April 10, 2011 in Leucadia (part of Encinitas, in San Diego County). The driver later turned himself in, plead not guilty, but was found guilty and was sentenced to less than two years. (The maximum sentence is four years for the crime for which he was charged.) Meanwhile, Jim is gone and the lives of his fiancé, friends, and family have been shattered. Jim’s fiancé asked that his friends support the LA County Bicycle Coalition to honor Jim’s memory and legacy, so we decided to sponsor a membership drive.
From the LACBC site, LA-Bike.org: “The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is a nonprofit organization with over 1,000 members that engages cyclists through advocacy, education and outreach across the county. Founded in 1998 by bicycle advocates Joe Linton and Ron Milam, LACBC brings together the diverse bicycling community in a united mission to improve the bicycling environment and quality of life for the entire region. Despite Los Angeles’ reputation as a car-centric region, LACBC has emerged as one of the most innovative and wide-reaching bicycle advocacy non-profits in the country. They have played a major role in the growing cycling movement here in LA. Their vision is to improve the built environment in Los Angeles, so that all cyclists – low-income, commuter, recreational, families, and women – can safely navigate LA County streets. Through the help of a strong volunteer network, LACBC accomplishes this vision in their campaigns to increase bicycle infrastructure throughout 88 cities in LA County.”
In meeting with LACBC executie director Jen Klausner, I was stunned to learn that the sole organization in this giant county of ten million people which represents and furthers cyclists’ rights and needs has barely over a thousand members! Eleven hundred members, out of ALL those LA area cyclists??? I was stunned, and appalled. Knowing how critical a collective voice is to gaining, and then keeping, our rights to safely ride on the roads of Los Angeles County is, everyone who rides a bike in LA County should be a member of the LACBC! (Even those living outside LA County should consider supporting LACBC, because they have become a role model organization for promoting cycling in large metropolitan areas.)
To that end, AdventureCORPS sponsored the Jim Swarzman Memorial Membership Drive. As such, AdventureCORPS matched all memberships and contributions to LACBC in Jim’s honor, up to $10,000. So when anyone joined, renewed, or donated during the membership drive, LACBC received twice the amount that was given. We asked that everyone we know to please encourage their friends to become members – whether they are new or long-time cyclists, whether they knew Jim personally or have been touched by hearing about his story.
The Membership Drive was a success! Here is a write-up from the LACBC Blog:
“10,000 Thanks to AdventureCORPS for Sponsoring the Jim Swarzman Memorial Membership Drive.”
“Last summer and fall, our friend Chris Kostman and AdventureCORPS, Inc. sponsored a matching membership drive in honor of fallen rider Jim Swarzman. Jim, a great friend of LACBC, was killed last Spring while riding his bike in San Diego County with his fiancée and a friend.
“For every contribution made to LACBC during the Jim Swarzman Memorial Membership Drive, whether through membership or donation, AdventureCORPS, a promoter of endurance cycling and running events including the world-famous Furnace Creek 508 and the Badwater Ultramarathon through Death Valley, promised to match those contributions up to $10,000. Chris spread the word to the athletes who ride in all AdventureCORPS events, including the Death Valley Century and Double Century, the Mount Laguna Bicycle Classic held near San Diego, and Hell’s Gate Hundred. Jim was a several-time veteran of AdventureCORPS events and well-known and liked in the ultracycling scene, so his untimely and senseless death really hit home for his fellow endurance riders. Their desire to help keep these types of unnecessary tragedies from happening again, with AdventureCORPS’ backing and support, led to the most successful membership drive in LACBC history.
“With your help, we were able to raise over $23,000 during the Jim Swarzman Memorial Drive on memberships and donations alone! As promised, Chris Kostman recently presented a check of $10,000 to our Executive Director Jennifer Klausner on top of the $23,000 raised!
“Thank you to Chris and AdventureCORPS for their generosity and support! Thank you to the many of Jim’s friends, family, and fellow endurance riders who have contributed! Thank you to all who donated and/or became members during the drive! And thank you to everyone who helped spread the word about making LA County a better, more bike-able place!”
Click here for the Full Story.
Click here to join LACBC today.
Click here to read more about Jim Swarzman and this membership drive.