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Skate-park fundraising gets kick started

Skate-park fundraising gets kick started
Skate-park fundraising gets kick started
Corydon Town Council president Lester (Les) Rhoads looks at a check for $10,000 presented Thursday afternoon by Chris Frederick, left, chief financial officer and executive vice president for First Harrison Bank, for a proposed skate park at the former Gerdon Auto Sales in Corydon. Photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor
By Kristen Cervenak, Editor, [email protected]

A $10,000 sponsorship check presented by First Harrison Bank helped to start fund-raising efforts toward Corydon’s first skate park.

The check was presented by First Harrison Bank chief financial officer and executive vice president Chris Frederick around 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the old Gerdon Auto Sales property lot in front of several people, including former property owner Bill Gerdon.

“I don’t know what a bank hip is (referring to the sponsorship titles), but we’re going to be the First Harrison Bank hip sponsor,” Frederick joked. “We’re proud to be a part of this. We wish you well and can’t wait to see it.”

For almost 20 years, skateboarders Sam Miller and Gary Graves have worked toward obtaining a community skate park. Their advocacy, however, only intensified during the past decade.

“Look around and look at all of the kids,” Graves said as children played in the background. “You’ve got the whole next generation of people starting to show up. This is going to be great for them, as well as us older kids, too.”

Skate-park fundraising gets kick started
Sam Miller, left, and Gary Graves speak about their efforts to get a skate park built in Harrison County. Photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor

When Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County president Lisa Long heard the Graves and Miller speak at a town hall meeting several months ago, she approached them to assist. Although not a skater herself, she said she thought it would be a great addition to Harrison County, with Corydon a perfect location.

“Because the Chamber of Commerce is not a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, we enlisted the help of the Harrison County Community Foundation,” Long said. “Donations that are made to the project go through the Community Foundation so you can claim it as a charitable contribution.”

There are two ways to support the project, Long said. One is a construction donation that will go directly into the physical development of the skate park. The second option includes donating to the endowment fund, which would handle the maintenance and repairs over time.

Donators additionally have the option of purchasing an engraved brick -— $150 for a 4×8-inch brick with two engraved lines, $250 for a 4×8-inch brick with three engraved lines or a $500 square 8×8-inch brick with up to four engraved line — or the option to sponsor a tree.

Long then invited Miller and Graves to speak.

“At this point, I can’t wait to see when it’s done. It’s going to be magical,” Miller said to a gathered group of skaters and community members. “I think it’s time to take this city, propel it and involve more of the general community. Thank you for being here. Thank you, of course, to First Harrison. This is amazing. We’re this far, and we’re not stopping.”

The skateboarding duo’s next step is to continue fundraising.

“It’s going to take a lot of effort,” Graves said, “but we have no doubts that it’s going to happen quicker than everybody thinks it might take.”

Miller said whether that comes from knocking door to door or reaching out to large manufacturers and small businesses that have kept the community going, they will find the funds.

“This is mostly for the youth,” he said. “Although, we’re going to enjoy it a lot.”

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