Diana Receives Coveted Award
David Douglas started out by saying," Well, as I was standing in the back of the room, I noticed that every time that volunteers were asked to stand to be recognized for a particular Cascade Bicycle Event, there was one person in particular who kept standing up and sitting down as each event was mentioned". David, who is Event Director for the club, went on to say that he had much gratitude for his STP Volunteer Coordinator, and that is when Diana realized that she was the one being talked about.
We were attending the Cascade Bicycle Club's Holiday Party for club volunteers on the evening of December 3rd. This annual affair, normally held around this time in December, is a very popular social event where appetizers, drinks, and dinner is served to some 200 mingling guests. Each guest is given a golden (chocolate) coin (worth 100 points) at the entrance to the party, which they can then use at various casino games to increase their points. They can then cash in their points for gifts which include various articles of clothing (sweat shirts, t-shirts, hats, jerseys, etc.) and souvenirs that the club has left over from various club events. The evening is capped off with a program that serves to recognize all the individuals who put in time and effort to make the club work effectively.
Diana was totally surprised and shocked at her selection to receive the award and she could hardly believe it when asked to come forward to accept it. She had no idea and did not have the slightest suspicion that she would be selected (and then made the center of attention). When the program was over, she was overwhelmed with hugs and complements; something she is not used to. The primary reason that this came as such a surprise to her is that this organization has exceptional participation by volunteers, which is fairly unusual for a club of any kind. There were many deserving individuals who could have received this award, and as David Douglas mentioned, the selection could have been determined by a lottery. But, in considering the number of years that Diana has contributed, she was found to be someone at the top of the list.
To give you a little perspective on the Cascade Bicycle Club, it is the largest recreational cycling club in the US and serves about 5,500 members (over 12,000 as of January, 2010) in the greater Puget Sound community in and around Seattle, Washington. As a non-profit organization, it is operated by a nine-member volunteer Board of Directors and ten paid professional staff people. Its mission is "dedicated to providing bicycle activities to promote individual health and recreation, and education and advocacy to promote a more bicycle friendly environment and a more livable community for members, bicyclists and the community at-large". The objective of the club is "Creating a Better Community Through Bicycling". The "four pillars" of the club include advocacy, daily rides, education, and events. The goals of the club includes getting more people riding more often and more safely, increasing the voice and visibility of the cycling community to improve facilities and the environment for cyclists, and promoting cycling as a transportation alternative.
There are currently 10 major cycling events produced and run by the club, some of which have title sponsors. The two premier events are the Seattle International Bicycle Expo (a public exhibition with vendor booths) and the famous Seattle to Portland Bicycle Ride (STP), both of which attract about 8,000 participants. It is these events (particularly STP) that Diana and I have concentrated on and have expended many volunteer hours. Besides these events, the club also puts on a monthly Presentation Series where a wide range of topics of interest to members and the general cycling community is provided at a central meeting location. Also, the club sponsors many daily, free to the public, bicycle rides throughout the area (Diana and I are among the many Ride Leaders) and the club is now scheduling specific rides overseas. The club also has a big commitment toward bicycle education and has a safety program that regularly reaches out to schools. The advocacy program is very extensive and deals frequently with government agencies, politicians, and others invloving trails and bicycle rights. A monthly news letter is also published called the Cascade Courier. To learn more about the Cascade Bicycle Club, click on the logo below.