By Gina Redican
3rd of July Bike Ride
We had so much fun with this event last year that we have decided to make it an annual tradition! Our 3rd of July Bike Ride started with a meet up at Will Rogers Mini Park, took a 6- mile cruise through the neighborhood and finished back at the park for some snacks, games, prizes and hang time. The BHCA’s biggest goal is to create a sense of community and what we love about this event is that it’s just about meeting people and making new friends. This year we had over 25 riders including: Denise, Paula, Aaron, Carlo, Jimmy, Donna, Gwen, Nancy, Wes and Ryan to name a few…and, oh, one cute little dog named Gizmo. Thank you to everyone who came out including Gabriela from CD3 and Kailee Caruso, candidate for Council District 3.
A special recognition to Denise Kuper who won the best decorated bicycle prize. She really showed up in full 4th of July spirit! We’re excited for our next ride together and are thinking of ways to make it even better.
Our past food drives have been dedicated to addressing food insecurity in Long Beach. According to Feeding America, 1 in 8 Americans are food insecure, including 12 million children. Thanks to our BHCA community we had plenty of goods to donate in May and June. In honor of Memorial Day, we supported our veterans by donating to U.S. Vets. In June, we celebrated Pride and chose the Long Beach AIDS Food Store as our beneficiary. We invite you to support our drives held at the Belmont Heights United Methodist Church. Keep an eye out for exact dates and times by following us on social media and signing up to receive our eblasts.
Belmont Heights Make a Difference Day (BHMADD)
Bringing back BHMADD (not held since 2019) was a spectacular accomplishment. We had some major hurdles to overcome and at one point, with the Omicron variant surging, we were not sure if the event was going to take place. However, the BHMADD team was able to pull it together with a wonderful turnout! Temple Israel, Gabriela Joy of Suzie Price’s team, the Belmont Heights United Methodist Church, The Center Long Beach and the BHCA worked together to coordinate over 20 different projects with more than 250 volunteers helping charitable organizations across Long Beach. Organizations such as The MAYE Center and Long Beach Organics (which create environments that provide food and healing for individuals in need), the Los Cerritos Wetlands and the Colorado Lagoon – both places of beauty and learning - were just a few beneficiaries of BHMADD.
In order to provide a safe environment, volunteers gathered at Marine Stadium Park (instead of Temple Israel, which we look forward to getting back to) where projects such as decorating cookies for first responders and putting together hygiene kits and backpacks with school supplies for families and children in need took place.
Tracy Luu, BHCA Board Member, was impressed, saying “As a first-time participant, it was truly amazing to see the community come together to help the neighborhoods of Long Beach. It was a packed day crowding the park. There was a team for a blood drive, clean-up groups, bee preservation, food collection, and individuals of all ages!”
A very special thank you to all who participated and donated to BHMADD. And a huge thanks to Domino’s Pizza for feeding all of our volunteers!