Celebrate good times. Come on!
AnnMarie – Owner/Instructor
At BOHO we love our sweaty riders and this city we call RVA. So when those same sweaty riders are doing great things for our beloved city, our hearts burst with pride. One great example of that powerful synergy is Julia Warren, the founder of one of the most amazing non-profits to come out of this city: Celebrate! RVA.
As a high school senior in 1996, I sat in the cafeteria, munching on an ice-cream sandwich and fries (remember, BOHO is a no judgment zone). I was discussing the latest episode of Friends and wondering about the first thing I’d do when I moved out of my parents house after graduation. When Julia Warren sat in her high school cafeteria, eating fries and discussing the Walking Dead, she wondered what it was like to be a kid who didn’t get to have a birthday party. She couldn’t imagine missing out on this childhood tradition. She set out to find a way to throw birthday parties for kids who wouldn’t otherwise have them.
Little did she know by the time she as a junior in college, Celebrate! RVA—the nonprofit she founded—would be hosting birthday parties for thousands of kids each year. She works with a team of 200 volunteers, participates in programs with the Richmond City Jail, Sheltering Arms and the Salvation Army, and even recently expanded the program to the Washington DC area.
All of these parties take work, time, and laughs. Julia is taking a breath to focus this next year on Celebrate! RVA. She will be jumping head first next fall transferring to VCU with a double major in business & non-profit management with a minor in child psychology. *Breathe*
According to the Celebrate! RVA mission, all children deserve to experience joy and be given the opportunity to celebrate their special day, no matter their circumstances. And BOHO, couldn’t agree more. We love birthdays. They’re a BOHO Bonus! I have loved a birthday party for as long as I can remember. The joy of the cake and candles, the egg toss and the three-legged race resonates with Julia, too. “Every child needs to be told, Happy Birthday,” she explains, “and to be the center of attention for an hour and to feel that they matter.”
“Some kids have never made a birthday wish before our parties,” says Julia. “Each and every child blows out a candle at our parties. Some ask for it to be lit again and again so they can make another wish. I will light the candle as many times as they want.”
#BOHOBesties, has your heart exploded with birthday confetti yet?
Julia, who is only 20, says the hardest part of her job is gaining the respect and trust of the families she serves. “They don’t know me from the next Jane on the street. And here I am walking into their world, offering to throw a birthday party—something most of them have never had before. It can be tough but it’s worth the pure joy on that child’s face.
BOHO’s third birthday is on the horizon (October 19) and this year our birthday wish is to help Julia spread more of that joy. BOHO is sponsoring Celebrate! RVA’s October birthday party and need volunteers to bring cheer & their woot woot!, play games, and make wishes. To join some of the BOHO Family, Oct. 28th, please email us at email@example.com for more information.
We’ve got more! On Saturday, October 15th, our 10:15am class with Tosh will be a charity ride benefitting Celebrate! RVA. The class is a donation based class (suggested donation $15) all of which will be donated to Celebrate! RVA. There will be birthday cake, candles, party hats and some good old-fashioned tap backs! Check the schedule and grab a bike!
Wait! There’s more! The entire month of October we will charge $1.00 for water bottles with all proceeds from the sale benefitting Celebrate! RVA.
If you want to learn more about how you can support Celebrate! RVA as an individual, click here.
"There is no measurement of joy. But I know we ate a lot of cake.”