"A man is responsible for his actions... and his inactions."
If you have not heard or read about what happened to Jorge, the short of it was that he was a victim of an act perpetrated by prime examples of human scum: the worse of the worst. Roaming zombies plagued by lack of empathy, most likely a direct result loveless homes, abuse, addiction, gang life, and/or a multitude of other evils.
While Jorge was leaving the Sonoma Bike Expo on August 18th - after participating in a flatland BMX demo - these scumbags jumped him, beat him, kicked in three of his teeth, bruised and cracked his ribs, gave him multiple lacerations on his face and body, damaged his hand and gave him a concussion. They left him unconscious in the street and left for dead; and I say this with grave seriousness: an impact to the back of the head or temple can literally kill you. They stole his phone, camera, camera equipment and his flatland BMX bike.
It was then I decided to step up and take lead. I believe the BMX community was in shock and almost paralyzed - with no answers to the question: What do we do? The initial reactions were of street justice - to find these thugs and give them what they deserve, which I believe still holds true. However, there was a greater call to action here - to blanket the Luzuriaga's with love.
I set-up a Fundrazr account and asked the community to donate - with the sole intent of this mission as to raise enough money for a purchase of a new bike for Jorge. The goal was $1,200, which was raised in a matter of a couple of days. It was then, we all saw the magic happen. Money poured in from the generous hearts of the community - both friends and strangers, alike. Donations in amounts from $3 to $200 flowed beyond the goal, which gave me the chance to purchase a brand new, custom bike for Jorge. Everything over our goal would be donated to the Luzuriaga's to help with medical and dental bills.
It was then I was contacted by a member from Global-Flat.com - Kevin Washington a.k.a. "getzfafive":
I know you said no used parts, but I have some brand new unused parts I can donate. I'd be willing to donate [that] kit: new frame, bars and fork. I live in NC. I did meet OSG at the One Love Jam, he was pretty nice to me. Just glad I can help out.
While waiting for the frame to come, I wanted to organize an event for us to ride and present Jorge his new bike. Norcal Squirrel was able to lock down a date of September 8th at Lake Cunningham Skatepark, titled "OSG BMX Benefit Jam". At the event, we'd have a raffle and three contests of Best Flatland, Best Ledge Run and Best Bowl Run. Of course, for the raffle (which all proceeds went to the Luzuriaga's) I sought out sponsors who generously donated:
- Flatland Fuel
- Radical Rick Allison
- Risk Everything Clothing
- Eddie Fiola Inc.
- Subrosa/Sparky's Distribution
Last minute donation of a COMPLETE United Supreme BMX bike was Chris C. from Quadzilla Racing. The grand prize was a Subrosa DTT 24" Cruiser frame from Sparky's Distribution.
The Jam was a success. Riders from all over attended, including freestyle legends like Maurice "Drob" Meyer and his Curb Dogs, Ron Wilkerson, and many others. FDV Clothing came out to show support, and pro FSFG Joshua Boothby of Redbull showed off his 20" skills. The Luzuriaga's served up a wonderful BBQ lunch, complete with all the sides and fixin's for hungry riders. The raffle went off with over a dozen people walking away with prize bags and riders pushed their limits to win the "best of" contests.
Best of Contest Winners were:
- Flatland: Armando - for pulling a backyard with flip-flops on
- Ledge: No-Pegs Billy - For wallriding the outside of the full pipe and hitting a big 3 off the end, bent crank arm and all
- Bowl: *sorry I didn't get your name* - For a huge shirtless backflip.
There were so many great tricks that need mentioning: Josh Boothby sent it with some extremely technical ledge tricks, Big Country was busting double tail whips and 540's. Ying wow'd us with his brakeless, crank-less 18" flatland magic.
The highlight of the day, however, was when all gathered around to present Jorge his new bike and benefit check made out to his name. As we brought out his bike, we chanted "OSG! OSG! OSG!" - Jorge and his wife gave a wonderful speech of gratitude and thanks.
The day ended at around 5:30pm. Sunburned and hoarse (from working the P.A. system), I drove home with a glowing feeling of light and love.
I want to take time to give a HUGE shout-out to:
- My wife, Kelly, for being patience with me during this endeavor. With my business - which takes me out of the home as it is - and with this project, I was very absent during the last two weeks. Coincidentally, it was her birthday, and I had renovated our bedroom for that with new furniture. Between work, her birthday and this event, I have been burning the midnight oil. Sorry for waking you up at 1am with the noise of a tire pump, honey!
- The wonderful staff at Lake Cunningham Skatepark, who - the great professionalism and support - helped us with the P.A. System and organization. Without you, we couldn't have pulled off such a great day.
- Glenn and Steve: You guys were my wing-men all day... my extra set of hands when I really needed them. Guys, I am grateful for your help.
- The community who so generously reached into their pockets and gave. It can be difficult to give at times, but somehow you all did it. Thank you.
- The Long's (Sarah Luzuriaga's family/Jorge's In-Laws) who walked the grounds to sell raffle tickets and prepare food.
- NorCal Squirrel who BBQ'd and possibly cooked his inner organs from the heat.
- All who attended the Jam - each and every one of you made it a fine, fine, day
† LAST WORDS
I sincerely hoped my actions - and the actions of those involved - have inspired others to step beyond their comfort zone. To act selflessly for the greater good and to act in sweet Charity's name. Time on this earth is limited - we humans have a finite resource of time, and when it has run out, we cannot rewind to fix the events we did not act upon. We often blame hate and violence for the ills of this world, but it is apathy that leads to both.