In 2016, LATLC welcomed a new Partner Charity, SoCal Trykers, a local chapter of AMBUCS, Inc. a group that inspires those with special needs to conquer challenges related to mobility and independence.
SoCal Trykers was founded by a group of physical therapists and helps disabled children in the area acquire adapted tricycles. These “trykes” are customized to each child’s particular needs and enables them to leave their wheelchairs and ride with friends and family, many for the very first time.
Bicycles can run up to $1,000 each – a price most of the families cannot afford.
In January 2017, LATLC purchased and presented three customized bikes at an event at Cal State University Long Beach. The event was attended by past presidents Minh Nguyen, Aimee Kirby and Joe Barrett, 2020 President Alyssa Schabloski and other volunteers. The impact on everyone who participated that day was extraordinary as children rode around the gymnasium to cheers from their friends and family.
SoCal Trykers came to LATLC in late summer to see if we wanted to help build, as well as present, another three new bicycles. The answer was simple: three bikes are not enough! So, Nguyen asked other law firms to join LATLC in funding additional bicycles.
There was so much support, LATLC and SoCal Trykers brought in Red Star Riders, another AMBUCS non-profit that received an LATLC grant earlier in the year, for more children to be fitted for the bikes.
The “Great Tryke Giveaway” was born!
On October 28, 2017, LATLC built and presented THIRTY customized tricycles to the excited children and their families. The event coincided with Beach Street , a day-long party where Long Beach areas are closed off to cars, showcasing bike riding, local businesses and entertainment. Tents were set up in front of the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association and 32 volunteers spent hours assembling the customized bikes!
Since that time, LATLC has held annual “Great Tryke Giveaways.” Although we no longer build the bikes, LATLC funds and presents between 15 and 20 bikes to special needs children and adults each year. Volunteers join with the Long Beach Beauties – a squad of special needs cheerleaders LATLC has supported since 2018 – to congratulate and encourage the new riders.
This heartwarming family event has become a highlight of each year.
The “Great Tryke Giveaway” would not have been possible without the law firms that joined LATLC in funding these customized bikes: Alder Law, The deRubertis Law Firm, The Law Offices of Gary A. Dordick, Ellis Law Corporation, The Law Offices of Mauro Fiore, The Homampour Law Firm, Lallande Law, Nguyen Lawyers, ALC, Sullivan and Sullivan.
The adaptive bicycles can change these children’s lives. Each year we receive photos and notes from the families. Here are just a few:
“How wonderful it is to see [Evangeline]… finally be able to cycle along with her sisters after all these years of missing out! What a joy it is for us, her parents, to get to see the smile on her face when she is ‘behind the wheel!’ Thank you again, for the gifts of joy and happiness that you have helped to provide, is truly priceless.”
“Hi! I just wanted to send a quick email and say thank you for the bike for our son Malachi. The timing was amazing and God’s blessing for sure. With school out we have been able to do laps at our park every morning! He is probably never had this much exercise! It is possible from your bike! Thank you so much!!!”
“My Husband and I wanted to send a warm Thank you for the generosity of SoCal Trykers and LATLC. We are very thankful and appreciative of the opportunity and the Tryke that was given to Jaylen this past weekend. He loves to ride in his Tryke. He thinks that the pedals are just a suggestion and no need to use them, but he is getting the hang of them. Thank you very much.”
Here is a short film about one of the new Riders.
LATLC From the Heart – Aryn Harty
Thank you to Verdict Videos for telling this story.
Press and Media
Television stations (KCBS, KCAL, KABC, and KTTV), the Long Beach Press Telegram, and The Grunion Gazette have covered the event:
2019 – KTLA News Special Edition 10-7-19 at 4:00 pm
2019 – KABC Eyewitness News 10-7-19 at 5:00 pm
2019 – KABC Eyewitness News 10-7-19 at 6:00 pm
2019 – Long Beach Press Telegram 8-10-19 “Long Beach Children & Adults Receive Adaptive Special-Needs Tricycles at Annual Great Tryke Giveaway”