Skate the Lake sets fundraising record

Riders head into The Village at Squaw Valley during Skate the Lake.
Justin Scacco /
Chase Rodriguez poses with some of the trash he collected along the Skate the Lake route.
Justin Scacco /

Skate the Lake hit a record amount of funds raised for Boarding for Breast Cancer’s awareness and survivorship programs.

On Sunday, dozens of people turned out to ride boards, scooters, bikes, and roller skates — cruising 28 miles along Lake Tahoe and the Truckee River, and raising more than $51,000 in the process.

“It really shows how important Boarding for Breast Cancer is to people,” said event organizer Curt Sterner. “There’s a lot of people affected by a lot of different things, but Boarding for Breast Cancer makes it so you can talk about it. My mom had breast cancer and I didn’t know what to do, and thankfully Chuck (Vogt) approached me and said ‘Hey, let’s do something for our moms.'”

Nearly 20 years later, participants at Skate the Lake raised a record amount of money in one of Boarding for Breast Cancer’s first live events since the outbreak of COVID-19.

“It means the world to us to be back in Tahoe,” said Events and Outreach Manager Maggie Gonzalez. “This community is so strong and always shows up for us.”

Skaters and others left Tahoe’s West Shore on Sunday morning and arrived at The Village at Squaw Valley around noon. After a break and lunch, the group traveled back along the bike paths to the finish at Commons Beach.

“I loved it,” said local Chase Rodriguez, who completed his fifth Skate the Lake. “It’s the best environment. You get skateboarders, scooters, roller skaters, bikers — it’s all around good hearts.”

Along with participating in the event, Rodriguez also collected trash along the route.

While there were many longtime participants, the top individual fundraiser of the year was a newcomer to Skate the Lake.

Matt Salcedo, of Oakland, raised $2,315. He said he was supported by a group of high school friends he used to skate with, and decided to participate after a friend and his godmother died due to cancer.

“It was an awesome event,” said Salcedo. “We’ll definitely be back next year.”

Among all of the participants at Skate the Lake, one group stands out. Cruising mile after mile, women from local roller derby squads have grown their numbers since Aimi Xistra-Rich began skating in the event more than a decade ago. She and a friend were among the first Skate the Lake participants in roller skates, pushing their young daughters in strollers along the route.

“Boarding for Breast Cancer is a huge passion of roller derby squads across the country,” said Xistra-Rich, who said her team raised more than $1,000. “We’re just so happy to be back in person. It’s really an energy and a vibe that we create with the Boarding for Breast Cancer events.”

Boarding for Breast Cancer will next host its Skate the Coast event in Los Angeles as a part of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User