Donations ramp up skatepark fundraising for Phase 2

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MANCHESTER — Two significant donations have created momentum for potentially building phase 1 and 2 of the Manchester Skatepark this summer.

The skatepark donations have given a boost to organizers' hopes that fundraising will allow the construction of both phase 1 and 2.

Nancy and Walker Kimball donated $7,500, and an anonymous donor pledged to give $30,000, with the stipulation that 200 additional donations are received from individuals who have not yet given to the park. Half of these donations must come from area elementary and high school students.

Ground breaking on the long-awaited skatepark is tantalizingly close. Current plans have phase 1 construction beginning in May. The park has more than $250,000 for the first of three phases. The first phase covers approximately 5,000 square-feet of the park.

The new donations will go toward raising an additional $275,000 needed for the completion of phase 2 — providing an additional 5,000-plus square-feet. A third phase, which would add 6,635 square feet, is a possibility in the future.

The skatepark would be the second larges in Vermont and one of the biggest parks in the region if all three phases are built.

"We are very excited about this new round of funding, but we still have plenty of work ahead of us for reaching our fundraising goals," said Town Manager John O'Keefe. "As such, the committee will be developing a number of grassroots campaigns and events to widen our efforts to raise money for both phases."

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On March 10, the Green Door Pub at Stratton hosted its Vermont Open vintage snowboard and skateboard swap, where $4,500 was raised for the skatepark through the silent auction.

In addition, the committee will be hosting a private fundraiser this spring, as well as a long-boarding event on Center Hill Road in April.

The skatepark committee is also seeking local artists to turn blank skateboard decks into works of art, as part of a skate deck art show and auction, planned this spring in conjunction with park groundbreaking. There are also donation boxes, designed from old skateboards, placed at Cilantro, Mrs. Murphy's Doughnuts, and Town Hall.

With the original $50,000 in matching funds from the Town, and the donation of land, and generous donations from the Vermont Country Store, rk Miles, and other individuals, the Manchester Skatepark Committee raised the $250,000 for Phase 1 in 2018. This also includes $10,000 in grants from the Tony Hawk Foundation and the Turtle Ridge Foundation.

For those interested in donating to the development of both phase 1 and 2, please mail a check made out to "Rec Fund - Skatepark" to: Town of Manchester, 40 Jeff Williams Way, Manchester Center, VT 05255.

Donations can also be made through the skatepark's GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/ManchSkatepark

For artists interested in getting involved in the skate deck art show, please send a message to parks@manchester-vt.gov.


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