John Fuchs, President, is a General Contractor and Real Estate Broker in Rio Del Mar. He fell in love with guiding kids as a result of coaching his daughter’s teams in volleyball and basketball. He also coached the Aptos High School golf team for four years. Besides his family and his business, John’s other passion is mountain biking. “For me, Trips for Kids combines my interest in working with kids with the satisfaction, sense of accomplishment and self-fulfillment that comes with mountain biking. Trips for Kids has provided me an incredible opportunity to make a difference in young people’s lives who may be in search of healthier lifestyle choices. I look forward to helping kids, one ride at a time. Happy trails!”
Kymberly Lacrosse, Vice President, (Kids Coordinator, Outreach, and Recruiter), has been a Community Organizer at the United Way of Santa Cruz County for over five years and is currently the Program Director of Jovenes SANOS. Kymberly has a BA from UCSC and MA from SJSU, both in Sociology. In addition, Kymberly is engaged in ongoing Transformative Leadership for Sustainable Change which strives to design community change that makes a real difference. Over twenty-five years of partnering with youth in many capacities give her the front line experience that intertwines with her academic and intellectual knowledge. Her commitment to justice, access and health drive her to work diligently to change the systems in place for more equitable, thriving and healthy communities. Kym’s love for mountain biking started many years ago after experiencing the adventure, nature, thrill, technical and endurance aspects of the sport all in one package. “My love for mountain biking, inner determination and strength, and nature are an experience I am thankful to share with as many young people as possible,” says Kym.
Melissa Cline, Treasurer, is a genomics scientist at U.C. Santa Cruz, and has been an avid cyclist since she was a child. As a young woman, she valued cycling as an independent mode of transportation, and as a way to get out of the house and explore her world a little bit more. Now as an adult, she values mountain biking as something that gets her away from the computer. Trips for Kids Santa Cruz combines her love of cycling with her motivation to make a difference in the lives of young people. “Mountain biking offers kids tangible experience at learning to overcome challenges, while having fun outside in a beautiful setting. Overcoming an obstacle on a trail is more than a thrill, it’s empowering. It changes you to realize that you’ve done something that wasn’t easy, that you couldn’t do the day before. That sort of experience carries over to all areas of life”.
Kathy Frank, Secretary, has been riding bikes all her life. While growing up in Palo Alto, she often went on wild rides with her two older brothers who dared her to do crazy stunts on the Stanford campus. Sporting an incredible number of scars on her legs, Kathy has continued to love cycling, including a cross country trip in 1988, a six-month cycle down the coast of Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and Fiji, as well as tours of many other countries. Kathy feels that being outside and in nature can cure almost anything. She is passionate about getting people (especially kids) away from television and computers and into nature, be it hiking, running, or mountain biking. She loves being on the board of Trips for Kids, and, being an RN, is planning to be of service in the first aid department as well. Kathy is currently working as a Home/Hospital Teacher for the Santa Cruz City School District, working one-to-one with students who are too sick or disabled to attend their regular schools. She worked as a pediatric nurse at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford for 12 years.
Roxanne Harrison, Director, Volunteer Coordinator and Fundraising, is currently Director of Sales at Synergy Learning Systems, specializing in leadership development and team building. She was introduced to bicycling in 1993 while living in Minneapolis, MN. “My friend was able to get us a couple Trek road bikes pretty cheap. After a week of riding my bike across Iowa and 500 plus miles under my belt, I was hooked!” Roxanne believes biking can be used in a number of positive ways. It can help reduce obesity, increase happiness, reduce an individual’s carbon footprint and help us stay connected with our inner kid. She hopes to be able to ride into “old” age. “Helping kids get that same sense of freedom, joy and accomplishment is what inspired me to get involved with Trips for Kids. It’s those brief exhilarating moments that can change their lives. When I learned that Allison had started a chapter locally, I jumped at the chance to become involved in such a wonderful organization.”
Janette LaBau, Director, (Logistics and Ride Coordinator).
Steve Piercy, Director of Technology, creates professional websites and custom web applications as the owner of his business, Steve Piercy — Website Builder. Steve has not owned a car since 1994, and uses his bicycle for everyday transportation. He served on the People Power of Santa Cruz County Steering Committee, creating their website. Steve advocates for bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure and programs, helping to bring the first green bike lanes to Santa Cruz County in Soquel Village, founding the New Brighton Middle School Bike Club, and bringing a County-sponsored free helmet distribution site to Capitola. Steve also volunteers for Bike to Work/School bi-annual events and the Bike Smart program conducting bicycle skills training. When not geeking out or doing stuff for bicycling, Steve grows healthy organic food in his back yard. “Bicycles give freedom and independence to kids. As they grow up, living car-free means kids have more money to spend on the important things in life—like good food, housing, and bicycle parts—and have more time to live well.”
Erin Dunn, Director, Health and Wellness Ambassador, is the Director of Community Programs at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Erin studied nursing while serving in the US Army, she earned a Bachelors degree in Health Science Education from the University of Florida, has coordinated cutting-edge research projects at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is professionally bilingual in Spanish, and has a Masters degree in International Cooperation and Development from the University of Granada, Spain.
Her desire to work with underserved populations, plus her commitment to lifelong learning, have brought about opportunities to live and work in Mexico, Spain, Latin America, and Northern Africa. But this is only half the story. Alongside work and academic endeavors, Erin has dedicated over 15 years to cycling and ultra-distance triathlons, both domestically and abroad.
Ering admits, “It’s been a wild, wild life. The discipline you learn from these sports helps you to propel yourself further than you think is possible, fall and get back up, push hard, and persevere, even when you can’t see the top of the mountain. Through cycling and extreme sports I have learned to be disciplined, focused, and goal oriented while also learning about friendship, camaraderie and teamwork.”
Life is a journey, the path is not always clear. To quote Erin’s favorite Spanish poet, Antonio Machado, “Caminante, no hay camino. Se hace camino al andar.” With Trips for Kids Santa Cruz, Erin will contribute her experiences to help underserved children build important skills that will help them build pathways in life, both on and off the bike.
(open) Gear, Equipment, and Facilities Manager
Allison Cruz, Founder, has represented youth for 20 years as an attorney. From juvenile dependency clients who have seen abuse and neglect, to juvenile delinquent clients who are involved in the justice system, Allison has seen it all. “I thought I would do what I can to hopefully have a positive effect. I decided it might help if these often underprivileged kids could get their adrenaline rushes from mountain biking instead of through gang activities.” Allison’s husband, Jason, is the sales manager at Family Cycling Center. He was able to lead her to Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz and numerous other riders and organizations. Allison realized a profound opportunity, and started the process of beginning a local chapter of Trips for Kids. She feels fortunate to have partnered with so many talented, enthusiastic board members and volunteers, who have taken that original idea into a real adventure. Allison loves mountain biking and being in nature. She wishes she wasn’t quite so timid on the mountain bike and would enjoy crashing less often?