Skateboard park proponents tackle fund-raising |

Skateboard park proponents tackle fund-raising

Truckee skateboarders, who were banned from town parking lots after an anti-loitering ordinance passed last year, are now asking residents and business owners to help them build a skateboard park.

About 60 skateboarders showed up at the Truckee Community Center May 22 at a Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District meeting. They formed committees to raise about $10,000 to build wooden ramps and install fencing for a skateboard park behind the high school. Funds will also be used to buy insurance for the park, expected to cost about $3,000 alone.

The plan is to open the park around July 1, leaving two weeks to raise funds.

Skateboarders hope stores in the Gateway at Donner Pass Plaza, where skateboarding became illegal after the anti-loitering ordinance passed, will contribute, as well as local organizations such as the Soroptimists, Lions Club and Rotary Clubs.

“We might sell advertising space on banners at the park. Or sell a ramp. A business could put their ad on the skateboard ramp,” said Terri Molina, co-chair of the monetary donations committee, and mother to a skateboarder and inline skater.

Her eighth-grade son Dane jump-started things last fall when he submitted a petition with 300 signatures to the town council supporting a skateboard park in Truckee.

In what will probably be some of the more hip community fund-raisers, skateboarders also plan a spaghetti dinner, a silent auction and a Battle of the Bands concert.

“The more we raise, the cheaper it will be to get in to the park,” said Dan O’Gorman, senior recreation coordinator at the district. “The ice rink fund-raisers have been making $800 to a $1,000 on each of their spaghetti dinners. We’ve found auctions raise more money than raffles, maybe $3,000 in one night.”

A spaghetti dinner is tentatively planned for Friday, June 6, at the Community Center, in conjunction with the silent auction.

The Battle of the Bands concert will be later in summer, O’Gorman said, with money from that going toward the building of a permanent concrete skateboard park.

A representative from Fat Rail, a South Lake Tahoe company, asked the district if it wanted to rent professionally built skateboard features, including a 12-foot, $70,000 half pipe and a street course. The wooden features are used two weekends a year for competitions, but otherwise sit in storage.

O’Gorman said they haven’t made a decision on the offer yet, but that it will most likely be cheaper to have Truckee skateboarders build their own ramps. Fat Rail made an original estimate of leasing the ramps for about $10,000 a year, which would include transport, maintenance and possibly even supervision.

It’s do or die for this group of young, largely misunderstood athletes. The recreation district is leaving most of the work up to the skateboarders, but is lending mailing lists, letterhead and postage for mailed solicitations.

O’Gorman and recreation district board members are also overseeing the project, arranging liability insurance and suggesting

fund-raising ideas.

Donations should be mailed to the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District, 10046 Church St., Truckee, CA 96161, Attention: Skateboard park.

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