Skatepark Initiative Receives Tony Hawk Foundation Grant

Draeden Goettelman Hodges, 10, skating at Sunset Park in Sturgeon Bay on March 13, 2012.

The Sturgeon Bay Skatepark Initiative received a $10,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation, putting them more than halfway to their fundraising goal.

“One thing we knew before we could apply for the Tony Hawk grant is that we needed to make sure the kids were really committed to sticking with the effort to build the park,” said volunteer Claudia Dubuque. “We got a unanimous yes and [the kids] have done nothing but show up at meeting after meeting.”

The Tony Hawk Foundation gives grants to groups trying to open free, public skateparks. It picks projects based on these criteria: distance from another skatepark, average area income and youth participation in the effort.

“I know that all those things worked in our favor,” said skatepark initiative co-chair Matt Dixner Young.

From the Tony Hawk Foundation website:

The foundation’s true mission goes beyond simply making sure skateboarders across the country have a curvy place to play. We’ve discovered that the benefits derived from the process of getting a skatepark built, while not as tangible or quantifiable, are often more valuable than the product itself. If it’s done right, a skatepark project can teach young people a lifelong lesson in the power of perseverance, and remind adults that kids with funny haircuts and pierced lips not only can be good people, but also can get things done.

The skatepark initiative still needs to raise $185,000 of its $405,000 goal. The group is hosting a cookout at Glas coffee shop in Sturgeon Bay on Sunday, April 28. It will be the last opportunity for people to bid on skateboard deck art painted by local artists. The event starts at 10:30 am with a group skate across the Oregon Street bridge, and ends at 1 pm.

For more information on the Sturgeon Bay Skatepark Initiative, contact co-chairs Matt Dixner Young at 920.559.6880 or Laurel Hauser at 920.493.0572. Tax-deductible contributions to the skatepark may be sent to the Skatepark Initiative, Door County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 802, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235. Donate online at and like us on Facebook at Sturgeon Bay Skatepark Initiative.