Skate Jam. The goal was to raise awareness and a little funding. Over 100 youth and $500 later, we succeeded.
Four local bands — Birth of Tragedy, Charlton Heston, Thanes of Thunder and No Soap … Radio — all performed to benefit the future skate park in Melrose. The bands provided all of the equipment needed and took care of all the set-up and take-down of their materials, including a large gong that one of the bands used for their performance! We really could not have asked for a nicer group of guys to run a show.
A highlight of the night was when a community member and his young son — who’d stopped by just to see the skateboard demonstration which had to be cancelled due to rain — made a donation anyway to the skate park. The boy left with a skateboard keychain in his hand and at that point it made sense why we keep trying to build this park. It might take eight more years, but if someday we can have a new place for a father to spend some time with his son, teaching something he loves, then it will all be well worth the effort.
The success of the Skate Jam is due to many, but mainly the following: Mr. Jeff Cavillino for spearheading this entire endeavor; the Hope Alliance Church for sharing their space and being so flexible with our youth programs; Coliseum and Ocean Frogs Skate Shops for donating raffle items; all of our volunteers; and the bands.We look forward to holding another Skate Jam soon.
Andrea Nykiel is the Massachusetts Promise Youth Leadership Fellow at the Melrose/Malden YMCAs. She also co-coordinates the Common Ground Teen Center in Melrose with Coordinator Bert Stoker. For more information about the Common Ground Teen Center, call Nykiel at 781-324-7680, x235, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.. For information about volunteering contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Ed Schmitt at 781-662-0802 or Bert Stoker at 781-223-7401.