The 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting will be remembered during a special charity ride on June 10. CycleWard Studio in Fort Lauderdale will host the event– just two days prior to the one-year anniversary of the tragedy. CycleWard Studio is located at 6161 North Federal Highway in the Imperial Point Plaza in Fort Lauderdale.
The Pulse Pride Ride will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. It will be a dual-ride led by CycleWard instructors Nick Tofini and his partner, Brian Varela, who conceptualized the fundraising initiative. Space is limited so interested riders are encouraged to register and reserve their spot in advance at CycleWardStudio.com.
“When Nick and Brian approached me with the idea, I immediately embraced it,” said CycleWard owner Lisa Anderson, in a statement. “The shooting at Pulse nightclub was a heartbreaking, horrific and senseless act of violence against the LGBT community and humanity overall. CycleWard is proud to be able to honor the victims and all those impacted with this ride—celebrating life, acceptance, and embracing the simple notion that love is love—while raising funds and awareness for such a deserving organization as Equality Florida.”
In the same statement Tofini added, “This is obviously a cause that is very near to our hearts. Realizing the one-year anniversary of the Pulse shooting was approaching, Brian and I felt compelled to do something that would memorialize the victims in a meaningful way, no matter how big or small. We came up with the idea of leading a dual ride together with 49 bikes—49 riders which so perfectly represent the 49 victims—all to benefit an organization dedicated to fighting for the rights of the LGBT community here in Florida. We invite the local community to come out and join us as a rider, friend or supporter for this truly special event.”
The cost to participate is $40 per person, limited to 49 bikes in honor of the victims, and includes a free shirt and complimentary drink coupon for the after-party at Rosie’s Bar & Grill in Wilton Manors. All proceeds from the ride will be donated to Equality Florida—the state’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for the LGBT community.
As the one year anniversary of the tragedy approaches, Equality Florida has launched the #HonorThemWithAction Campaign, a nationwide commemoration of the Pulse massacre that calls on individuals and organizations to honor those killed by taking action to uproot the hatred that feeds bullying, harassment, discrimination, and violence.