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Wednesday, Nov 29, 2023

Cycling Studio Spins Forward for Fundraising

With the abundance of spin studios in the Los Angeles market, new cycling studio SoloCicla is late to the game. Still, the Studio City establishment has developed a niche it hopes will differentiate it from competitors. Founder Jacklyn Enriquez is working to build her brand through partnerships with nonprofits and community organizations. The indoor cycling studio at 3341 W. Cahuenga Blvd. has only been open eight months and has already branded itself as a friend of the community. “I’ve always enjoyed going to Skid Row and giving the homeless food and blankets, so through my studio that’s my goal,” Enriquez said. “Nonprofits that need help, they can reach out to me.” Since SoloCicla’s inception last October, Enriquez has partnered with nearly half a dozen organizations by hosting promotional fundraisers and allowing businesses to use her venue for events. During its first three months, SoloCicla partnered with breast cancer research and awareness organization Kiiakas in L.A., by putting on a promotional ride. One of the studio’s largest fundraisers to date was the toy drive it organized in December, when the community donated more than 1,800 toys for underprivileged children. Enriquez donated the majority of the toys to an orphanage in Tijuana called Madre Assunta, and the remainder went to nonprofit LA On Cloud 9, which works to support the homeless. “My goal is once we get our name out there to start a nonprofit,” Enriquez said. Enriquez opened SoloCicla in honor of her mother, who continues to battle cancer. When Enriquez learned of the diagnosis in February 2014, spinning became an outlet to relieve stress and pent-up emotions. “When I first found out I was very devastated,” Enriquez said. “A friend of mine said I needed to get out of the house and she took me cycling. I’ve been spinning ever since.” Enriquez said she took on about $400,000 in debt to get SoloCicla off the ground, most of which came from family and friends. Prices for the studio range from $15 for one ride to $149 for an unlimited monthly pass. She projects to break even within the next year. “I didn’t open up because the money is good. … I opened up because it saved my life and because of my mom,” she said. Career Choices A fish’s life perspective will differ greatly from that of an eagle, just as a low-income child’s worldview will differ from that of a privileged child. In an effort to break down those barriers and enlighten youth in lower-income communities about possible career choices, El Nido Family Centers welcomed a team from Amazon TV to chat with their youth about the many opportunities in entertainment. Many of the youth and families of El Nido struggle with gang activities, domestic violence and child abuse on a regular basis. “(This event) has really promoted the idea to our clients that they too can, if they have a passion or an interest, pursue careers in the entertainment industry,” Liz Herrera, El Nido executive director, told the Business Journal. The Pacoima nonprofit welcomed more than 60 youth from the community and their parents to the screening of Amazon’s original series “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street.” After the showing, the kids were able to ask the co-executive producer and writer, in addition to a few of the actors, questions about the industry and possible career opportunities outside of acting. “The kids watched the show; I watched the kids,” said Laurie Parres, co-executive producer and writer. “Seeing what they responded to was invaluable to me as a writer. And meeting them was fun for me personally – the families were amazing.” Sweet Fundraiser New Horizon Inc., a North Hills nonprofit that works with the special needs population, has partnered with local grocers Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions to sell its homemade chocolate chip cookies. The New Horizon Cookies launched at two local supermarkets in Tarzana and West Hills, with plans to expand from there. The organization said 100 percent of proceeds will go toward its programs, which include job training and placement, education and counseling services. “Vons and Pavilions have been a valued partner of New Horizons for decades. Over the years Vons has donated more than $70,000 in foundation grants to our cause,” Chief Executive Cynthia Sewell said in a statement. Staff Reporter Champaign Williams can be reached at (818) 316-3121 or cwilliams@sfvbj.com.

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