A large crowd gathered to bid on bikes and cycling gear Thursday night to help raise money for bicycle safety improvements in Newport Beach.
The silent auction, held at Surf City Cyclery in Costa Mesa, was hosted by the organizers of Newport Beach's memorial bike ride held in honor of cyclists Sarah Leaf and Catherine "Kit" Campion-Ritz who, were killed one day apart in bicycle-related accidents in Newport Beach in September. April Morris, an organizer of the event, says preliminary numbers show the silent auction raised more than $7,500 for the Share the Road 2012 Bicycle Safety Improvement Fund.
"We had more than 200 people attend, way more than we expected," Morris said. "Every silent auction item was sold, and the 'Bikes May Use Full Lanes' signs were a huge hit!"
The silent auction items included road bikes, electric bikes, childrens' bikes, sport tickets and vacation homes. In October the city council said for every dollar raised by the community, the city will match three additional dollars in bike safety expenditures up to $450,000.
Along with the silent auction and memorial bike ride, Amazon.com has partnered with the city to help generate more money for bike safety improvements. Shoppers are encouraged to access the online site through the newportbeachmemorialbikeride.com. Morris said the Amazon contribution will be anywhere between four and 10 percent of the purchase price.
Leaf, 29, worked as a nutritionist in Corona del Mar. She was killed in a bicycle collision on the morning of Friday, Sept. 14 when she was cycling on Pacific Coast Highway and the driver of a stake bed truck turned right onto Bayside Drive.
Campion, a doctor who treated patients in Newport Beach for close to 30 years, was killed during a fatal hit-and-run on Saturday, Sept. 15 as she cycled on Newport Coast Drive with her husband.
To shop on Amazon and donate to the bike safety fund through your purchase, visit newportbeachmemorialbikeride.com.
In addition to the Amazon partnership, residents can also contribute to the bike safety improvement fund at donation jars located at the Zinc Cafe and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Corona del Mar, Kean Coffee on Westcliff Drive, Newport Beach Training Zone on 17th Street in Costa Mesa, Sea Schwinn on 17th Street, Haute Cakes on Westcliff Drive and Hershey's Market on Balboa Island.