Josh Brooks from ESPN’s Action Sports site had a nice piece on a fundraiser held by Tony Hawk, proceeds from which will go towards the construction of a skatepark in South Central LA’s Watt’s neighborhood.
Construction of a facility is a major undertaking and its value should not be underestimated. Having a place to go to that hopefully will be seen by everyone in the community as a place for fun, a respite from conflict if you will, opens up personal and social development opportunities for, in this case, kids and young adults. By building it in the community itself, not in the suburbs miles away, also communicates faith in the neighborhood that they will support the facility and the people who use it. That was very much the thought behind Magic Johnson’s business strategy. Don’t put another movie theater or coffee shop or restaurant in the suburbs where people who could really use it wouldn’t be able to get to it. Put it where they live and watch their patronage drive its success.
Kudos again to Tony Hawk for leveraging the power of his celebrity to improve access to an activity that he obviously truly loves, skateboarding.
You can see the full story at http://espn.go.com/action/skateboarding/blog?post=4559076, with a short video included here.
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