|Sky with Mr. Mortimer Jones, the executive director of the Siemon Center Salvation Army|
all photos by Heidi Lemmon
Eight year old skateboarder Sky Brown from Japan, is visiting Los Angeles, and in-between meetings and filming with her long list of skate sponsors, Sky is making time to fulfill her dream of going to inner city after school programs here to help kids learn to skate, and speak about the importance of staying in school, getting good grades, and of course skateboarding. Sky was the youngest girl to compete in the Vans US Open, and her skate videos are a viral sensation, she is fun and fearless, and likes to help other kids get started in skateboarding. You can read more about Sky's "Skate 4 Change" mission on Sky's FUNDRZR page.
Under the direction and support of Heidi Lemmon from Skatepark Association International, Sky started her LA tour this past week.
The first stop on her tour was The Salvation Army in South Central, Los Angeles. This amazing program was developed twelve years ago when Team Pain donated the ramps from the X-Games. Thanks to this generous donation, the after-school program has been running ever since. The area this program is in, is one of the highest in crime and juvenile diabetes in Los Angeles. After school programs like The Salvation Army, are important for health and fitness, fun, and developing future pros.
One of the first skateboarders to run the program was Aarec Baker and two years later, Jeffrey "Fresh Boy Bleed" Harris took it over for the next ten years.
The sad news is, the program is currently in danger of shutting down due to lack of funding. The volunteers have repaired the park numerous times now, but this time the ramps are needing to be being torn down, as their lifespan is unfortunately over.
Even with the full support of Mr. Mortimer Jones, executive director of the Siemon Center Salvation Army, and the Skate Park Association International - which is a 501c3 non profit that was established in 2002 - there is no funding right now for the program, so they are looking to find volunteer coaches, and will and start the kids with with flat ground basics until the park can be rebuilt.
Huge thanks to Sky and her dad Stu, for helping bring some much needed attention to what the Salvation Army after-school program for skateboarders is doing, and for highlighting the help that they need to continue the good work.
If you'd like to know how you can help keep The Salvation Army after school program for these young skateboarders alive, please contact the following people:
Heidi Lemmon: 310-261-2816 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Andre Patterson : email@example.com