By Dustyn Fatheree
TERRE HAUTE —
Skateboarders, bikers and scooter-riders of all ages gathered at Voorhees Park Friday for the On-board United Initiative’s — otherwise known as O.U.I. — first fundraising event. All proceeds are going to the Terre Haute Parks Department.
The event ran from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with raffles every hour, food and plenty of skating.
“The turnout for the event has been awesome,” said Gail Phillips, an O.U.I. representative, midway through the event. “We held this event today [Friday] because it is national Go Skateboarding Day, and the real intense skaters take the day off from work to go skating.”
Voorhees Park, bordering Indiana 63, is an ample location for people from surrounding communities to come enjoy the festivities, she said. There were attendees from Bloomington, Terre Haute, Cincinnati, Crawfordsville, Indianapolis, Greencastle and Illinois.
One person who traveled from Cincinnati to skate was 17-year-old, Luke Coffey.
“Before the skatepark, we would skate the streets,” Coffey said. “I hope they expand on the skatepark — add a bigger bowl and split the course so each kind of skater or rider has their own course.”
Westley Chappelle, 26, from Terre Haute didn’t have to travel as far to enjoy the skatepark.
“Events like these bring a nice mix of new people to the area,” he said. “It is a chance to learn different styles of riding.”
Like Coffey, Chappelle also added that he would like to see the skatepark expanded on.
Merchandise was sold and raffled off at the event. Some of the vendors that donated items were Fickle Skateboards, Dazed Skateboards, What Luck Skateboards, Rhett Skateboarding and Nomad Skate Truck.
John Brooks, the owner of Nomad Skate Truck, travels to skating events locally and sells merchandise such as boards, wheels and etc.
“I come out to events to support the skating community,” he said. “I’m doing my part to keep it alive. It is a little hot, but the turnout to this event has been pretty good.”
Since the O.U.I. formed over a month ago, the skatepark has gained two miniature shelters, a water fountain and concrete has been applied to minimize the debris that would get onto the skating area. The O.U.I. also wants to get the skatepark added on to and a shed built to store first-aid supplies and tools.
“We have to keep up the momentum,” Phillips said. “If we don’t make enough money, we will do another fundraiser.”
She said she will not know the final amount raised until a few days from now.
The next fundraiser that Phillips hopes to hold will be in October, if she is allowed to have it. She would like there to be a zombie-theme where attendees dressed the role and came to skate.
Reporter Dustyn Fatheree can be reached at 812-231-4255 and firstname.lastname@example.org.