ELIZABETHTOWN — The Friends of the Skateparks Foundation have planned a fundraiser for a proposed skate park in Elizabethtown for Saturday, Nov. 7, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the Rockshop in Fayetteville.
There will be a skateboard contest, food and a raffle. All proceeds will be donated to Elizabethtown for the proposed skate park to be constructed at Leinwand Park.
Terry Grimble, one of the event’s organizers and a member of FSF, said there a 13 and under division and a 14 and older division as well as an advanced division and a sponsored division.
Grimble said there will also be a category for street style skate board and a highest Ollie contest.
“The skate park they are building, the budget for it is on the small end of skate park budgets,” said Grimble of the proposed skate park.
He added, “Through our foundation, we’re helping them (town staff) come up with a plan to help get the most for their money.”
He said FSF assists communities to understand the difference between a skate park and a playground skate park.
He said the skate park proposed for Elizabethtown will be state-of-the-art and also be a park that the town can grow and make additions to in the future. It will consist of a half-pipe that will measure about 60 feet wide and the heights will vary from about 4 feet to 7 feet at its tallest point.
Grimble said that the skate park will be able to accommodate both professional and amateur competitions, skate boarding demonstrations and camps.
Town Manager Eddie Madden said the skate park will be erected at the corner of South Morehead and King streets, alongside the Bladen County gym. He added construction should begin by Wednesday, Oct. 21, and anticipates the park to be completed by Friday, Oct. 30, “weather permitting.” The cost will be $46,973.
Madden said the decision to include a skate park in the proposed plans for Leinwand was the result of citizen surveys and public meetings in which citizens expressed a desire for a skate park to be built.
Mayor Sylvia Campbell said the town staff are excited about the proposed skate park.
“It (skate boarding) has a large following. It seems like those that like to do that sort of thing don’t mind travelling,” said Campbell.
She said that once completed, the skate park will have the capacity to accommodate recreational skate boarders but can also host skate boarding tournaments.
“I think it’s great,” said Campbell of the park.
She said that liability doesn’t seem to be an issue with a skate park.
“It falls under the same umbrella as parachuting does,” said Campbell.
She added that the Friends of the Skatepark Foundation set up an information tent at the Summer Sounds Concert and generated a lot of interest.
According to the website www.friendsofskateparks.com, a skate park can provide an anchor for businesses and enterprises that support skate boarding.
“Adding a quality skate park into your town’s urban fabric can help move your city’s reputation to the point where it attracts skate tourist,” reads the website.
Erin Smith can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.