06 Jan 2014 12:12 AM | Shannon Roque (Administrator)


Toby Waksman skillfully MC’s the raffle at the 2013 Speedway Century

This month’s “it” girl is out there folks!  She’s the one everyone is talking about and everybody knows who she is.  She’s Toby Waksman, and she’s made a name for herself for the spectacular job she did as the Volunteer Coordinator, the Emcee of the raffle, and the fundraiser extraordinaire for the EBC Speedway Century ride.  What you saw was someone who let her personality shine through as she entertained the crowd raffling prizes.  What you didn’t see are the countless hours of organizing, scheduling volunteers, recruiting sponsors and collecting the thousands of dollars of gifts that were given away that day.
Toby told me that she has always been just one of the riders and she had no idea of the effort to stage a big event like the Speedway.  She clearly didn’t know what she was getting into, but she came through when it counted most.  Although it was a lot of work, she felt rewarded and fulfilled after receiving so many positive remarks about the ride.  Just like riding in the peloton, it’s so much better working together as a team!

Her commitment to the event all began with a chance meeting with PATCHES founder Kyle Smith, who Toby first met years ago in nursing school.  She and friend and fellow cyclist Dennis Phipps ran into Ms. Smith at lunch in Homestead one day that resulted in a tour of the PATCHES facility.  This meeting made such an impact that
they were brought to tears by the desperation and hardship of the children and families that PATCHES has dedicated itself to helping.  She decided that she must do something to raise awareness of their good work and, even better to find a way to help them financially.  Being involved in a fund raising bike ride seemed to be a natural fit.
Toby acknowledges her gratitude for all the volunteers who put in such hard work, and those who lent their advice and guidance, especially Co-chairs Art Lieberman and Rafael Acosta, Dennis Phipps and EBC event organizing expert Mary Beth Garcia.
So who is Toby Waksman you ask?  She’s a Miami girl born and raised and a graduate of Killian High.  She started bicycling about five years ago when she was looking for friendship and social connections after coming out of a long term relationship.  Her first foray was through Google of course!  A search for bicycle meet ups led her to a little group called the Cutler Bay Bicycle Club and she bought a hybrid to ride around with them.  Soon enough she upgraded to a road bike when she wanted to get more serious about the sport and she fell in with Team StormRiders.  Today she still rides with TSR but also with Team Jama, 550 Riderz, Rose Bandits and a loose knit group of friends who just might want to take off for Key Largo if they feel like it.  She rides our Speedway and Snowbird rides, the Key West Ride, Mt. Dora, Sebring, the MS rides, Kid’s In Distress and the Frank Stark Ride in Boca, among others.  She has become a very strong rider who logs in around 160 miles a week.  One of these days we’ll get her in an EBC jersey!
Speaking of EBC, she loves the club for what we do for cyclists everywhere.  She has been a member for two years and she is aware that our activities and events enrich our cycling lives.  We all choose our own ways to be involved in the club, some on our Saturday rides, some develop smaller crews and organize rides, some get involved with our club leadership, and some like Toby give us their time and considerable efforts to help present one of our events.  It’s all good and we are very fortunate to have her and all the volunteers for each event!  Thanks, Toby!

-- Gregory A. Neville

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