By ERIN JAMES
Donors have contributed more than $500,000 to keep the Reid Menzer Memorial Skatepark maintained for years to come.
The fundraising campaign kicked off in September with a goal of raising $500,000 to expand and enhance the skatepark named in honor of a 14-year-old York City boy who died in 2006.
On Jan. 22, 2006, Reid was riding his homemade street luge when he was struck by a car at the intersection of Arlington Street and Merion Road.
His friends, fellow skaters and family decided to build a skate park in his honor. He’d often told his father, Eric Menzer, that York should have a skate park, a place where people could learn, practice and excel at their sport. The city donated property; numerous others donated time, services and money to build the park at 941 Vander Ave.
The park opened in 2008.
The latest fundraising campaign, dubbed “360 — Finish What We Started,” aimed to raise enough money to add lights, improve skater amenities and expand the park. The campaign will also create a permanent maintenance endowment housed at the York County Community Foundation.
In a news release, fundraisers announced Wednesday — the eighth anniversary of Reid Menzer’s death — they met that goal and then some. The campaign raised a total of $540,000.
“The vast majority of the people who contributed are not skaters … but realized that this is an important community asset,” said Bill Shipley, chairman of the fundraising committee and CEO of Shipley Energy.
Fundraising was more difficult before 2008, when the skatepark was just an idea. This time around, donors didn’t have to be convinced of the park’s value, Shipley said.
“Now it’s a proven community asset,” he said. “It’s not, ‘Maybe this will work, or maybe it won’t.’ We know it’s working.”
The expansion and lighting project will get under way this spring, according to the release.
Several companies — including Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects of York, Exist Skateboard Shop, Barton Associates and Wagman Construction — are donating their time and expertise to the project.
– Reach Erin James at firstname.lastname@example.org.