Skate park pushes forward

Photo submitted by California Recreation Foundation; An early schematic shows a simple concept design of what the skate park could look like.

By Ashley Loza
Kern Valley Sun

The George & Darlene Randall Skate Park is gathering serious momentum in its fundraising.

Currently, the California Recreation Foundation has gathered $84,230.72 in donations and in-kind services toward its total construction cost of $162,000. This includes $59,480.72 in donations and $2,000 in pledges, with an additional $22,750 in donated services from local companies. This leaves the Foundation about $78,000 away from their goal.

California Recreation Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization with a 12-member skate park committee, all of whom are volunteers.

Volunteer Treasurer Karene Williams says that the Foundation has gotten some very helpful recent offerings, including a $5,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation.

“I’ve applied for like 16 grants!” said Williams. “This is our first one.”

In addition, Williams says that the Foundation will be receiving a skateboard autographed by former professional skateboarder Tod Swank and signed prints from professional skateboarding photographer Grant Brittain.

Williams also noted that the donation jars she has placed in businesses around the Kern River Valley have increased in value. She says that as of about 6 months ago, the Foundation had received about $4,400 of their donations strictly from donation jars.

She expects this to pick up speed, since her trip around the valley to collect jars last Tuesday totaled $170 for that pickup alone.

“People are starting to donate in those again, and they bring in a tidy sum of money,” said Williams.

Donations of $500 or more have their names placed on the sign at the park’s future location next to Linda Kissack Ball Field, which will soon be updated to include the Tony Hawk Foundation and Pizza Factory for their recent fundraising efforts.

For construction, the Foundation is currently working with Spohn Ranch, a Los Angeles-based company responsible for the construction of skate parks across the country, including some of those used in the X-Games and Dew Tour.

The Foundation’s next big event will be the Drenching Wet Kern River Rafting Skate Park Fundraiser, in which local rafting companies Kern River Tours and Whitewater Voyages will be giving discounted rafting trips on the lower Kern River. The fundraiser will be held on September 8 – 9 and will be sponsored by Stone Brewing and Kern River Brewing Company.

The event will include 2-day and half-day trips, as well as overnight camping. All proceeds will benefit the construction of the skate park. Williams says the Foundation hopes to make an additional $13,000 to $15,000 on that weekend.

In a previous letter from Williams, she stated that the park will be open to “anyone with wheels,” including skateboards, skates, bicycles, scooters or wheelchairs.

“Youth will no longer damage private and public property (or scatter grandmas) in order to practice their sport,” said Williams.

Williams notes that donations can be made online to the skate park project via their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sk8thalake), through donation jars located at businesses around the lake, or via mail: 2809 Irwin Ave., Lake Isabella, CA, 93240. One-hundred percent of donations go toward construction costs.

In-kind materials and services may be donated as well. The Foundation is currently in need of a temporary dumpster, temporary restroom, framing lumber, rebar, concrete, sod, and a geotechnical report.

For inquiries, Williams can be reached at (760) 379-1434 or by email at karenewilliams1@msn.com.