Long Beach community members will be rallying together Saturday to help their neighbor with her hospital bills.
Noemi Soto, a member of Long Beach's Team Peach Cycling, was cycling in April on a trail at Elysian Park in Los Angeles. Her front wheel slipped on a turn that was covered with loose dirt, and she fell over.
"From one instant to the next, with no time to react, she flew over her bars and hit her teeth," Julia Kohn, one of the event organizers, said. "The helmet she wore broke the fall and saved her from further damage."
Soto was hospitalized with her injuries, but has since healed up and is ready to hop back on her bike. But her medical bills are very high and unpaid, and this is where her friends decided to step in.
Owners at Steamed Organic Vegetarian Cuisine, located in the East Village Arts District, are teaming up with Team Peach Cycling, as well as other cycling groups, to host a fundraiser to help Soto cover the cost of hospital bills, as well as the cost of fixing her four broken teeth from the fall.
The fundraiser will begin with a 4.2 mile group bike ride along the new bike lanes downtown. The ride starts at noon in front of Steamed Organic on Third Street. The group will make a left onto Pine Avenue and Broadway Boulevard, where they will then circle around to Temple and then back to Steamed.
Back at the restaurant, specials for participants include any bowl and beer combo for $10 and an LBQ (burrito with rice, beans and vegetables) and beer combo for $14.
Raffle tickets will be available for purchase as well, with prizes that include bike gear, gift cards and local art donated for the cause.
All the proceeds collected from the raffle tickets will go towards helping Soto pay to repair her teeth damaged in the accident, Kohn said.
And for the early birds and long distance cyclists, Soto will be leading an earlier 9:30 a.m. ride starting at Bicycle Coffee LA Café + Roastery (358 E. Second St., Los Angeles) to Steamed Organic in Long Beach. The group is expected to make it to Long Beach in time for the fundraiser ride, Kohn said.
The fundraiser starts at noon on Saturday, June 1, in front of Steamed Organic Vegetarian Cuisine, 801 E. Third St.
For more information, go to Facebook.com and search for "Team Peach Cycling & Steamed Cuisine Group Ride Fundraiser."
Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.