Pick up a skateboard and get ready to hit the slopes at the next Skate Jam fundraiser on October 16 at Athens Skate Park, behind 701 E. State St. Fundraising will include a skateboard competition, live music from local bands, local breweries and many other fun activities where all proceeds go to support a good cause.
The Skate Jam fundraiser, like many ideas, started out with a need for change.
In recent years, the Athens skate park has become obsolete, with concrete cracks littering the drop zone and foundations. While the skatepark remained messy and in bad shape, Emmett Mosghsa, friend of the Skate Jam coordinators, came up with the idea of ââa fundraiser to raise money for the Athens skate park.
Andrea Baird, co-organizer of Skate Jam and director of the Resiliency Center, said the skatepark repairs are needed and the fundraiser hopes to accomplish them.
âRepairs for the skatepark could range from minor, temporary concrete repairs to a bit more serious repairs to parts of it that would need a bit more longevity,â Baird said. âThere’s also the option that it could turn into just an addition. It all depends on how much we earn.
Funding for the event is Sojourners Care Network, a non-profit youth organization based in McArthur, Ohio. Most recently, in October 2020, Sojourners moved part of their organization to Athens by establishing the Resilience Center here on campus. The Resilience Center, like the organization itself, hosts many programs focused on youth empowerment.
Skate Jam profits will be split in half: half will go to repairs to the Athens Skate Park and the other half to the Resiliency Center for youth programs.
Charlie Milter, co-organizer of Skate Jam, explained how Sojourners’ participation helped turn this small-scale idea into a full-fledged fundraiser.
âIt started out as this idea of ââjust having a few bands in the park,â Milter said. âAnd then, by involving Sojourners, we were able to really make it a real fundraiser. We hope that we can raise enough funds for some much needed repairs to the skatepark, as well as to raise funds in the Sojourners Care Network. “
The main fundraising event will be the all-inclusive skating competition. The skate competition is open to everyone and participants can register for free on the day of the event.
Between skate competitions there will be live music from several local bands including Peachfuzz, The Wastemen, Hydrone, Brood-X, The D-Rays and Dana.
With live music mixed in with the competition, Milter explained how important the integration of local music was to the event.
âMusic is extremely important to both of us and that’s one of the reasons we do this,â Milter said. âThe music isn’t necessarily for the crowd there; the music is for the skaters to skate. This is something that most people in skate culture are super excited and excited about; really, really happy to be able to play with a live band.
In addition to the skate competition and music, the event will feature the famous Appalachian roller derby team, the Appalachian Hell Betties, and artwork from Passion Works Art Studio.
Many local shops and vendors have also come forward to support the community event.
Local stores and vendors include, but are not limited to Passion Works Art Studio, West End CiderHouse, Jackie O’s Brewery, Devil’s Kettle Brewing and more.
The Union, 18 W. Union St., will also host an after show featuring DJ Barticus, Red Devil Ryders and Actual Form.
With the overwhelming support of the community, Milter thanked all the local vendors who stepped up and helped them expand the once small idea to Skate Jam.
“It almost spiraled out of my and Andrea’s control because it’s not really our effort to find out why it got big, it’s more than anyone we’ve got. asked to be a part of it have been so overwhelmingly positive and willing to give of their time. and offer their products and their energy, “said Milter.” This is really about the community of Athens coming together to do something something everyone wants to do. “
Madeline Kramer, Recruitment Coordinator for the Resiliency Center, said she was excited about Skate Jam and encourages all students to come.
âIt’s going to be a blast,â Kramer said. âIt’s not that expensive to get in and you can go in and stay all day or leave and come back. I think it’s a really good way to connect outside of the OU, it’s not that far for the students.
Follow the Skate Jam on Instagram @skatejamathens.