Archive for June, 2009

ABC News 4: Civic Action Exhibit Showcases Groups Making a Big Change

Charleston, SC – The ‘Civic Action Exhibit’ showcases the work of about a dozen local groups giving a closer look at the what each one is doing to improve the charleston area.

“The idea of working with various groups that have their own mission or their own vision about how they want to change the city, it may not have to do with urban design, but its still about some of that civic pride and that civic activism that makes for a better community,” Micahel Maher said.

Pour It Now, a skateboard advocacy group is working with the City of Charleston to find a place to build a world class skate park that will give the 5,000 skateboarders in the Lowcountry a safe place to enjoy their sport.
“We want them to understand these kids are brilliant, theyre very creative, intelligent and very skilled, they just don’t have a place to exercise that,” Shannon Smith said.

And Louis Yuhasz of Louies Kids is working to find a solution to childhood obesity and hopes more people will get involved.

“There are 25 million children that are affected by obesity and were just doing our part here in the Lowcountry and trying to bring it to the nation, I think this gives us an opportunity to show people our success here and how were helping kids here climb mountains,” Yuhasz said.

From beautification projects to a push to make charleston more bike-friendly you’ll likely find a cause you care about, and for many it all starts with kids.

In addition to the exhibit, each group will also come in the evenings to answer questions about what each group does specifically to improve Charleston.

“We just developed a program here in Charleston an after school program so were really excited about that, and we have some new things coming up like run-buddies, where well essentially be doing the same thing within this program, but just one-on-one with different athlete mentors volunteers and kids.”

The exhibit opens Friday morning and runs through August 7. The exhibit is free and open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Civic Design Center located at 85 Calhoun Street Downtown.

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Free Times Article: City, Pour It Now Skating Toward New Park

Construction of Facility at Owens Field Could Start This Summer

BY NICK MCCORMAC

Ever since a skate park at Owens Field was demolished in 2007, local skateboarders have had to practice their craft on Columbia’s sidewalks and streets instead of one central — and legal — location.
But before the end of the year, skaters in the metro area might finally be able to return to their old skating grounds, which are slated to become home to the only custom-designed concrete skate park in South Carolina.

Local skater Ryan Cockrell formed the nonprofit group Pour It Now in an effort to save the old skate park after City Council decided to tear it down to make way for a track and field facility for Dreher High School.

But after the council’s decision, Cockrell thought local skaters might be better served with an improved park. “Our mission was to show how the city could harness the positive energy skateboarders have and use it to build something beneficial like [a new park],” Cockrell says.

City Council, in a partnership with Cockrell and other local skaters, agreed to support the idea. In June 2008, the council approved allocating $500,000 from the city’s hospitality tax revenue for construction of a new park.

Pour It Now has raised an estimated $35,000 for the project — $10,000 in donations and a $25,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation.
Damon McDuffie, a city park planner, says he hopes construction will begin in the next few months. McDuffie says he plans to evaluate bids from construction companies and recommend one to City Council in July.

While some council members were hesitant about a new park at first, they eventually opened their arms to the skating community thanks in part to enthusiasm and support among local skaters.
“I thought Ryan made a good case to the council,” says Anne Sinclair, a former councilwoman who championed the issue. “He showed us there was a niche that needed to be filled, and the council thought we could do our part to fill that gap.”

A mother of skateboarders, Sinclair says she believes that there should be a wide range of recreational opportunities available to residents. “People might find skateboarding more interesting than team sports, so we owe it to them to provide numerous wellness, fitness and sporting opportunities,” she says.

Cockrell was surprised to see such a warm response from council members. He says he recently discovered that skateboarding is the fastest growing sport in the country and he believes that the new park will help Columbia’s estimated 5,000 skaters flourish.
“Columbia has really embraced the idea of skate parks,” he says. “I’m glad to see them encourage a positive activity instead of just putting it down.”

In its work to raise money and build support for a new park, Pour It Now has fielded a presence at the Rosewood Crawfish Festival and other local events and distributed donation jars at stores, including skate shops and Manifest Discs & Tapes.

One of the group’s newest fundraising efforts is Sk82O bottled water, which it has been selling at events and hopes to distribute in local grocery stores. Proceeds from sales of Sk82O go toward the new park. “This is something we came up with on our own and we’re really excited and enthusiastic about getting the product out there,” Cockrell says.

Skate and Create, an annual showcase of artwork created by skaters, is one of the events Pour It Now sponsors in an effort to shed a more positive light on the sport.
“We do Skate and Create to show how skating can be a creative outlet and open the eyes of people to another side of skateboarding,” says David Toole, event coordinator for Pour It Now and developer of the Skate and Create gallery.

Bluetile Skate Shop, a Harden Street store Toole owns, became an unofficial hub for skateboarders following demolition of the old park. Toole says the skaters who frequent his shop are tired of having to dodge police and are ready for a new park to be built. “These kids have had to skate in abandoned, unsafe warehouses in gang territory, so of course they want a safe place to go and ride,” he says.

Wally Hollyday, a nationally known skate park designer, sketched the blueprint for the new park. Hollyday came up with the initial design and asked local skaters to provide their input on how it could be improved.
“The desire is there, the kids are ready, and I’m sure they’ll be coming from all over,” Cockrell says.

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Columbia Go Skateboarding Day Photo Recap

If you missed it, I’m sorry to tell you we all had a killer time despite the 101 degree heat!   These kids are hungry to skate, let’s feed’em.  POUR IT NOW!

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Go Skateboarding Day – 2009

Get your boards ready, kids, it’s that time again. We have a couple events going on this year. The event is spread out across the week-end. Here’s the rundown for all you skate rats.

Saturday June 20, 2009 – 11am-2pm; Fifth Avenue Deli: 2910 Rosewood Dr Columbia, SC
Bluetile Skateboards is bringing out the ramps and rails for the kiddos. This event will be chill – all about skating. Roll on down and help us shred the parking lot from 11am-2pm.

Sunday June 21, 2009 – Noon-Until; Ackerman Skatepark Charleston SC
The Charleston Committee is pulling out all the stops for this one! Jump castles, refreshments, a new skateable sculpture is being unveiled and there’s an after party at The Park in North Charleston! All that, and the event is on the real go skateboarding day which also happens to be Father’s day. What better way to spend time with the kids?

Wherever you are make sure you skate this weekend and if you can make it go to both events. We hope to see you skating with us at one of the events!

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