Press-Republican

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August 29, 2013

Skateboard park wins $25K Tony Hawk grant

SARANAC LAKE — The crew of kids and adults building the SkatePark here have a big win.

The Tony Hawk Foundation, based in California, awarded $25,000 to their design/build effort.

Saranac Lake’s was the largest grant given nationwide among awards that reached 11 communities, including just two on the East Coast.

DEDICATION CITED

“Saranac Lake is a small town of about 5,000 residents in Upstate New York that has rallied around its skaters and made their new SkatePark a priority,” Tony Hawk Foundation announced in a statement.

“With fundraising events like hot-dog sales, raffles, car washes and even a teen band night, it was evident to the Board of Directors that the residents of Saranac Lake are willing to do just about anything to accomplish the new SkatePark for their youth. 

“The dedication of the skaters and their supporters, and the small town’s ambitious plans to create a substantial 5,200-square-foot concrete SkatePark in the village center, convinced the Board Of Directors to cast their votes to award Saranac Lake the highest grant award of $25,000,” the foundation announced.

‘ALL ABOUT THE KIDS’

Rich Shapiro, spokesman for the SkatePark Committee in Saranac Lake, said they learned of the award in a phone call about 4:30 p.m. Monday.

“We were wishful thinking, we were hoping for $5,000. It’s great reinforcement,” Shapiro said Wednesday.

“It’s so good because this adds credibility that an organization 3,000 miles away would contribute to a small town effort.”

SkatePark Committee President Peggy Wiltberger said they are thrilled.

“We received the top award for this semester’s grant cycle, and we are elated and honored. The fact that the community and the kids have been working toward this goal for close to 10 years struck a chord with the Tony Hawk Foundation directors,” she said via email.

“They appreciate and understand the difficulties of a grassroots effort in a small community. It was the unflagging efforts of committee members over the many years and the continual support of the kids. And it is all about the kids.”

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