More than 700 kids are now prepped to take over New Orleans on their skateboards, thanks to the International Association of Skateboard Companies’ (IASC) and Go Skateboarding Foundation’s newly launched Just One Board initiative, which gave out refurbished boards to the kids on Go Skateboarding Day, June 21.
• 100 boards were given to summer campers at All Souls Church.
• 400 boards were distributed at the Lower 9th Ward Village by Mack McLendon and his crew. The World Industries team, including Anthony Shetler, Matt Mendenhall, Timmy Knuth and TM Charlie Thomas showed off their talents for the stoked kids. (Video: http://vimeo.com/44845060)
• 200 boards were given at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School, with the World Industries team providing some hands on instruction. Shetler took over as emcee and ran the kids through some of the basics while Mendenhall captured the kids imagination, ollieing six boards stacked on their sides for the amazed audience.
• The crew then met up with the rest of New Orleans' GSD effort that skated from Humidity Skateshop to City Hall, on to the Pancakes and finally winding up at Hunter's Field for a couple of best trick contests sponsored by Red Bull. Afterwards, Just One Board redistributed used decks to kids in need thanks to Urban Nine Skateshop (Baton Rouge).
IASC and Just One Board did it all with the help of Tim Duggan of Make it Right, Mack McLendon from the Village, James Lapuyade of Preservation Skateboards, Peter Whitley from the Tony Hawk Foundation and the GLU Agency who all helped pull together the multitude of moving pieces in New Orleans.
A huge debt of gratitude goes out to everyone that made the Just One Board Launch possible - especially NHS, Creature, OJ Wheels, Flip, Bullet, Mob Grip, Sector 9, Destructo, Ruckus Trucks, Loaded Boards, Alien Workshop, Habitat, Almost, Cliché, Darkstar, Enjoi and AdamsMorioka for their donations to the program and a very special thanks to Dwindle Distribution for assembling the bulk of the skateboards for the New Orleans event.
Special thanks also to Charles and Slick from the Village, Tyler and Dickie, Mike Shannon, all the volunteers from the Valley Ranch Baptist Church in Dallas, Mountain Dew, Philly and Humidity Skateshop, Reno, Jeff and Urban Nine and the World Industries team for making this a super fun, successful event for the kids.
IASC’s Executive Director Josh Friedberg hopes to see continued progress after the successful launch of the Just One Board program and is looking forward to distributing the remaining 300 boards committed to New Orleans at the opening of their first eco-skatepark. The park is on track for an August opening thanks to the efforts of Make It Right, the Tony Hawk Foundation and the GLU Agency. “Now that the kids have boards, we hope the skatepark initiatives will continue to grow the scene and give kids what they need most, a place to skate,” he said.
The foundation plans to do a major giveaway to disadvantaged youth in a different city each year while working with local shops to set up continuing programs that work all year long. By collecting used skateboard equipment, refurbishing and distributing it with the help of local skate shops and youth organizations, used equipment is saved from becoming environmental waste, shops gain a direct opportunity to support their community, youth organizations can introduce healthy skateboarding activities into their programs and, most importantly, young people who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity are given the chance to learn a new skill that gives them a healthy physical outlet and instills important character traits that last a lifetime.