The Annual Gala & Awards Dinner celebrates Greater Philadelphia’s agents of change in the bicycling community. This year’s awardees highlight the 10th year of the Youth Cycling program operating under the Coalition’s auspices.
Ryan Oelkers, the 2023 BCYC Award recipient, co-founded the Cadence Cycling Foundation in 2007 as a means to introduce more youth to the sport of cycling. He and the other co-founders of Cadence brought a strong legacy of professional cycling and racing, and that effort evolved to include high standards for academic and personal success, building a solid foundation for the program’s growth.
Former BCYC Program Manager Malaku Mekonnen and Cadence Youth Cycling co-founder Ryan Oelkers. Photo by Lora Reehling Photography.
In 2013, Cadence Cycling Foundation merged with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and was eventually renamed as Bicycle Coalition Youth Cycling (BCYC). Since the merger, the program’s disciplines have expanded to include MTB as well as road and tour training, and provides advanced leadership programming via its Youth Advisory Council and All-Star program. Ryan continues to participate in monthly meetings with BCYC staff, and is closely involved in program planning and coach training.
Dr. Keith Leaphart, the 2023 Maguire Award recipient, is no stranger to mentorship providing new opportunities. Dr. Leaphart served as a member, and later as chair, of the Lenfest Foundation where he oversaw the distribution of over $300 million to Philadelphia-based nonprofit organizations for over ten years. The Lenfest Foundation supported BCYC for 8 years between 2014 and 202 in critical years of program growth. More about Keith’s accomplishments here.
Gala attendees will also meet and hear from Daa’mir Speight-Taylor, the high school junior and BCYC All-Star who is being honored as the 2023 Athlete of the Year. Daa’mir recently wrote a guest blog about the All-Star Team’s trip to The Discovery Center at Philadelphia Outward Bound. BCYC Coordinator Habib Faye has remarked on Daa’mir’s transformation during the season from an introvert into a leader on the team, saying, “We are proud to recognize his accomplishments and burgeoning future.”
Daa’mir Speight-Taylor, 2023 BCYC Athlete of the Year
The Annual Gala & Awards Dinner will be held on Thursday, September 28, 2023, from 5:30 to 9:00pm at The Ridgeland Mansion in West Fairmount Park. For tickets & more information, visit bicyclecoalition.org/gala2023