As the holidays quickly approach, one local company is gearing up to give back. On Saturday, November 18, Clutch Courier hosts its third annual Cranksgiving Alley Cat Benefit. This year they will continue to benefit the Encompass Community Services and donate proceeds to their Teen Transition Age Youth Program.
“The first year we did it benefited the Civilian Center and the second year we hooked up with the Encompass Community Services,” says co-owner, Brandon Bailey. “These are the kids that have been in Foster Care most of their lives and are transitioning out. They’re learning how to be on their own.”
Located on Ocean Street, the Encompass Community Services offers young adults from 15 to 21 services to transition from government programs to independence. Along with their Transitional Living, Voucher and Housing Programs, they also offer a Transitional Center where teens can go to cook food, hang out and socialize in a healthy setting.
For a five dollar entry fee, participants in the annual Alleycat ride their bikes through town from the West Side to Park Ave., gathering supplies for the Youth Program at ten different checkpoints. Riders pay out-of-pocket for the goods on their lists and the first person to collect the most goods with the fastest time wins. And this year’s grand prize is a doozy for any cyclist: a Yuba Cargo Bike.
“We’ve had it at Clutch Courier for a while so we figured why not use it for the prize?” Bailey states. “So the frame is used but it has all new parts donated from around town.”
In conjunction with Santa Cruz’s Epicenter Cycling, Clutch Courier is overhauling the Yuba Bike with donated parts like Velocity Wheels and Santa Cruz-based Praxis Works crank sets. Other prizes include donated gifts from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Surfrider Cafe, San Jose Bikes and more.
In the past, the scavenger hunt benefit has seen roughly 40 cyclists raise between $1,000 and $1,500, but Bailey hopes to crank it up a notch this year.
“We’re really hoping to fill up [the program’s] food pantry and hopefully be able to buy them some gifts,” he says.
He believes that with the abundant number of casual cyclists in town, Cranksgiving is a great way for people to give back while doing something they love.
“Why just do it for your own benefit and not to help those in need?” he says. “And it’s a great way to bring the community together at the same time.”
For more information check out the Cranksgiving Facebook event page or call Clutch Courier at 831-466-0560.