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Skate park fund-raiser is a hit

An older skateboarder grabs the attention of some of the younger boarders while doing a trick off a ramp.Reminder Publications photo by Courtney Llewellyn
By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

EAST LONGMEADOW ELSPO, the East Longmeadow Skate Park Organization, is one demo and $1,000 closer to achieving their goal of building a new concrete skate park near the high school.

The skateboarding demonstration was held Aug. 4 on the old basketball courts near the student parking lot at the East Longmeadow High School. Approximately 100 skaters and supporters turned out for the event.

Despite the cracked, sticky and hot surface of the old courts, skaters aged four through 42 came out with their decks to showcase their skills and help raise funds for a future spot to skate.

Dan Dziuban of Theory Skate Shop was excited about the event's turnout, despite the condition of the location. "It's like someone said, 'What can we do to make this event fail? Let's make them skate in a ditch,'" he joked.

Theory Skate Shop loaned ramps and rails to ELSPO for the event. The group also judged "The Game of Skate," which is similar to the game of Horse in basketball. For each trick a boarder successfully completed, he earned a letter of the word "skate." The first boarder to earn all five letters won and moved up a level. Winners received free skateboard decks and other prizes from Theory.

There were sales of raffle tickets and T-shirts in addition to the skateboarding. "We raised over $1,000," said Deanne Daggett, founder of ELSPO and mother of a very enthusiastic young boarder. "The turnout was better than I expected."

The next objective for ELSPO comes at East Longmeadow's special town meeting on Oct. 15. The organization needs a two-thirds majority vote to obtain a zoning change to permit a skatepark to be built in town.

For more photos of the event, click here