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Malibu resident Nicole Ellis (right) volunteers Dec. 14, 2018 with My Friend’s Place alongside Danielle Levinson (left), a MFP Board member, and Jeff Katz, associate director of development for My Friend’s Place. This Sunday, Jan. 27, Ellis is to host a fundraiser in Malibu that will benefit the Los Angeles-based organization as well as the Malibu Foundation, which supports victims of the Woolsey Fire. Photo Submitted
Lauren Coughlin, Editor
1:19 pm PST January 22, 2019

Malibu resident Nicole Ellis, a self-described SoulCycle addict, is channeling her energy and passion toward the greater good — and there’s room for others to join her.

At 11:30 a.m. this Sunday, Jan. 27, Ellis’ Cycle to End Youth Homelessness event will take over SoulCycle Malibu, located at 3874 Cross Creek Road. The 45-minute spin class will equally benefit My Friend’s Place, which assists homeless youth in Los Angeles, and The Malibu Foundation, which supports victims of the Woolsey Fire.

“They’re just two amazing organizations,” Ellis said. “Youth homelessness is such a problem in our city, and My Friend’s Place is just an amazing organization working hard to eradicate homelessness and provide services for the youth.” 

In 2018, My Friend’s Place provided care and support to more than 1,400 youth, ages 12-25, and their children, according to Jeff Katz, associate director of development for the organization. Last year, the nonprofit also: served nearly 34,000 meals; provided medical, health and case management services to more than 900 young people; and served more than 500 youth with creative arts, education and employment services through its Transformative Education Program, Katz added.

Initially, the SoulCycle event was slated for Dec. 9 and was to solely benefit My Friend’s Place, a privately funded organization with which Ellis has volunteered for three years. The organization, which has a facility on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, recently marked 31 years of operation.

“I consider myself an advocate for them,” Ellis explained. “I just wanted to do more.”

After the Woolsey Fire struck Malibu, however, Ellis reevaluated and reformatted the event to also benefit her neighbors who were impacted by the fire.

“It’s been devastating for so many people,” she said.

The Malibu Foundation was launched this past November by individuals including Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, Evelin Weber, Alice Bamford, Ann Eysenring, Joe Flanigan, Rory Kennedy, Kelly Meyer and Trevor Neilson. The organization offers emergency relief assistance to those impacted by the Woolsey Fire in Agoura Hills, Oak Park, Thousand Oaks, Calabasas, Westlake Village, West Hills, Hidden Hills, Monte Nido, Malibu and other areas.

Cycle to End Youth Homelessness is open to ages 12 and up, though those between 12-18 must be accompanied by an adult. 

Ellis said first-time SoulCycle participants also are welcome.

“The cool thing about SoulCycle is it’s dark, there’s loud music [and] the instructors are amazing and they don’t call people out or put them on the spot,” Ellis said.

After sweating it out, attendees have the option of heading over to Malibu Burger Co. for lunch (at their own expense) and continued philanthropy, as the restaurant will donate 15 percent of proceeds to the event and its beneficiaries. 

For more information, email Ellis at NicFicarra@gmail.com. To purchase tickets, which cost $50 — tickets include spin shoes, water, a My Friend’s Place tote bag and a gift from On & On Spa of Hanalei — visit www.eventbrite.com/e/cycle-to-end-youth-homelessness-tickets-51380847498.