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Bike stars shine at BTA Alice Awards

Posted by on May 6th, 2013 at 4:33 pm

2013 BTA Alice Awards-37
Alice Award winners Kristen Warren (L) and Alison
Hill Graves with former Bike Gallery owner
Jay Graves and the BTA’s Rob Sadowsky.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

On Saturday night, the stars of bike advocacy from around the region aligned in northwest Portland for the 18th annual Alice Awards benefit auction. Known as “Alice,” it’s the largest fundraising event of the year for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA). With hundreds of people in attendance (each of whom paid $125 to be there), the night is full of fun, socializing, and shopping for a good cause.

With a nod toward celebrating the 50,000th grade school student to receive the BTA’s Bicycle Safety Education program, this year’s theme was “Tomorrow’s riders start today.” The main events of the night were the live auction, the crowning of award winners, and a nod to one very special bike advocate.

Winning the Alice Award this year were former Community Cycling Center Executive Director Alison Hill Graves and Gresham High School health teacher Kristen Warren. Warren was recognized for her work in incorporating bike safety education into her curriculum. Graves won her award for her work in bringing bicycling to underserved communities. Under her guidance, the CCC “ushered in a new way of thinking around equity and inclusion for the bicycle movement.”

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Alison Hill Graves
2013 BTA Alice Awards-18
Kristen Warren

Continuing with the theme of the evening, U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio was awarded the Bud Clark Lifetime Achievement Award for his “stalwart support of Safe Routes to Schools.” Rep. DeFazio wasn’t able to make the event, so he beamed in his acceptance speech via video.

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DeFazio on the big screen.

While DeFazio wasn’t there, I noticed plenty of elected officials on hand. They included: Oregon State Senator Jackie Dingfelder, Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick, Metro Councilors Kathryn Harrington and Bob Stacey, and Washington County Commissioner Dick Schouten.

Former Bike Gallery owner Jay Graves was also on hand to receive a special thank you from the BTA for his years of advocacy and financial support of the organization. Prior to his speech, Graves teared up as he got a rousing standing ovation from the appreciative crowd.

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Portland Mayor Charlie Hales made his presence felt at the event. He was there to show his support for bicycling and to help encourage the crowd to donate to the BTA. In a confident and relaxed tone, he said that Portland is a place where, “The bicycle is a legitimate, everyday and wonderful means of transportation.” Hales added that advocacy as displayed by the BTA is a key part of what makes Portland work. “We’re that place where activism turns into policy that turns into trails and bike projects and a better city.”

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Scroll down for more photos and notes from the event…

Former BikePortland contributor and now BTA Communications Manager Will Vanlue looked quite dapper!

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Uber-volunteer Lois Moss (L) and ODOT Community Affairs staffer Shelli Romero…

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Outside the venue, the entire street was a sea of bicycles!

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The silent auction was full of cool stuff… The steal of the night was a Portland-made Kinn bike that had a retail of over $2,000 but sold to a lucky bidder for just $800…

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Everyone looked fabulous: Here’s BTA Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky (L), Political Director for the Bus Project Henry Kraemer, and BTA member Katie Shuler…

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Lawyer and Portland bike advocacy veteran Mark Ginsberg won the prize for best jacket…

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This is Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill. He broke his arm/shoulder a few weeks while racing his road bike at the Rose Garden Circuit Race…

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Alice is a great place to connect with friends; as riding buddies Richard Lorenz (L), Scott Kocher, and Frank Selker demonstrate…

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And here’s Vanilla Bicycles owner Sacha White enjoying time with friends Tina Brubaker, Jenn Levo, and Sarah LoGiudice…

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PureSpace is a very nice venue…

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BTA Development Manager Chris Knott and volunteer Michelle DePass model a tandem during the live auction…

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BTA Executive Director Rob Sadowsky rides FOX12 weatherman Andy Carson on the Bullitt cargo bike…

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And here’s Sadowsky on stage doing his best to stay serious while standing in front of a huge kids bike complete with tassles and a sparkly banana seat…

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I don’t recall who said it (sorry, I mix my reporting duties with a lot of socializing and fun myself at this event), but someone told a story on Saturday night about the first (unofficial) Alice Awards held at Kell’s Irish Pub. That was 22 years ago and only 17 people showed up. All the glitz and glam of the Alice Awards these days brings to mind just how much the bicycle advocacy movement in Portland has grown up over the years. Kudos to the BTA and the amazing community that helps support them!

Read the BTA’s recap of the event here.

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Comments
  • Alan 1.0 May 6, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Lawyer and Portland bike advocacy veteran Mark Ginsberg won the prize for best jacket…

    That is what happens when hi-viz safety fanatics push their message one step too far. :-)

    Congrats to all Alice winners, thanks for all you do for biking!

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Susan O May 7, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Thanks for the great re-cap, write-up and photos. I had to miss the event for the first time in many years, so seeing the photos of the successful event is wonderful.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Justin May 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I think it was Jay Graves that mentioned the first Alice Awards. What a fun evening – I was inspired hearing the stories about the award winners and from folks attending the event!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

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