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Sunday, Apr. 19, 2015

Skate Park well on its way to becoming reality

Sunday, April 29, 2012

(Photo)
Recently, the Clay County Community Foundation provided matching funds for a $7,500 grant for the Clay County Skate Park Committee. On hand for the donation included (from left) committee member Amee Embry, committee chairperson Roberta Weliever, Clay County Community Foundation President Michael Lawson and committee member Chris Gregg. [Order this photo]
Having taught in Clay Community Schools corporation for 31 years, I saw the need for a skate park.

Students at North Clay, who were in my newspaper club, wrote stories about skateboarding and the need to construct a skate park here in Clay County.

We, four students and myself, researched the whole process of building a skate park and met with the Mayor of Brazil, who at the time was Thom Arthur.

Mayor Arthur gave us advice along with information he had obtained previously about skate parks.

The students were excited and I promised them when I retired from teaching in 2007, I would help them build a skate park.

Those students are now juniors in high school and are still very interested in the progress of this project.

Most of the skate park committee, which included parents of these students, are still active in this project.

This community needs a skate park. But, we need your help to complete this project.

The most important reasons are the young people who we see daily skating on sidewalks, parking lots and in places where they are not always welcome or safe.

The Clay Community Skate Park will give hundreds of skateboards, both young and middle-aged, in our a community a facility at which they will be able to relax, recreate and practice their sport of choice in a safe, secure environment.

Many skateboards can afford a skateboard, but cannot afford expensive team sport activities, including the required entry fees, sport gear, clothing and the gas money it takes to go to practice sessions and to the games.

They love the challenge that skateboarding offers and are exercising outdoors.

Skateboarding develops physical strength, balance, coordination and self-confidence.

Skateboarding is accessible to every economic level. It is safe and healthy when skaters have a skate park to use instead of the streets. If a city doesn't have a skate park, it is a skate park. Only by building a skate park will this problem be solved.

After 25 years and with three different groups which have tried to build a skate park in Clay County, the construction of the concrete pad and platform for the completion of the Clay Community Skate Park is nearing,

Twenty-four pieces of pre-cast concrete skateboarding equipment will be set on the concrete pad.

Thirteen pieces of the skateboard equipment have built-in platforms, and 11 pieces of equipment will be installed against the adjoining concrete platform. Three grind rails and one kink ledge will be installed on either stairs or banks.

The businesses and citizens of Brazil, along with the Clay County Community Foundation, and the Tony Hawk Foundation, have contributed more than $42,685.93 toward the construction of the Clay Community Skate Park. The total budget for the construction of the skate park is $79,695.

A copy of the budget is included with this letter. The Clay Community Skate Park has almost enough funding to construct the concrete pad and platform. Funding for the fence, which will surround the skate park, a sign with the skateboarding rules, and a large waste container, is still needed.

The City of Brazil has provided a 120-by-60 lot on the northeast corner of Jackson and Wesley Church streets for the skate park.

This is a very nice lot, less than a block away from United States 40, with several businesses that sell drinks and food.

There are sidewalks upon which skaters can travel safely to and from the skate park.

This site is in plain view of the public with constant traffic traveling east and west on Jackson Street. The project also received a huge boost from the Clay County Community Foundation in October 2010, when it awarded the Clay Community Skate Park Committee a $7,500 matching grant, which was matched in December 2011.

I am asking for your support of this project.

To realize our total project goal of $79,695, we need to raise an additional $37,009.07.

Your gift will be used to complete the funding for the concrete pad and platform, construct the fencing that will surround the skate park, the sign that lists the skateboarding rules, and a permanently fixed waste container.

The fencing will cost approximately $6,000. The fence is a necessary safety factor to protect the skaters and the surrounding public. It will prevent skating equipment from exiting the skate park and causing problems with traffic and onlookers.

It will also act as a barrier for skaters as they are using the equipment, especially the quarter pipe.

You may also participate in our Bricks for Bucks campaign, where your personally inscribed paver brick will be a part of the honored Wall of Donors.

There are three levels in the Bricks for Bucks campaign. The 4-by-8 Victory Level Brick can be purchased for a gift of $200; the 8-by-8 Champion Level Brick can be purchased for a $500-$999 gift; and the Gold Level for gifts of $1,000 or more.

The names of the Gold Level donors will be etched on a large piece of granite that will be centered in the Wall of Donors.

A form giving the details of this opportunity and for ordering the engraved/stamped bricks is available by calling me at 443-0611.

Our skate park committee, our community, and most importantly, our youth, ask for your support and a generous donation to help complete the skate park. The Clay Community Parks, Inc., acts as a depository for all funds received for the Clay Community Skate Park.

They agreed to "umbrella' as under their 501(C)(3) in 2007, when the skate park project began.

Donations are tax-deductible and may be sent to the Clay Community Parks Association, Attn: Skate Park, PO Box 308, Brazil, Ind., 47834.