ERIN JAMES / The York Dispatch 505-5439 / @ydcity
Updated: 09/05/2013 07:42:28 AM EDT
A campaign will kick off this week to raise half a million dollars for the expansion and enhancement of a skatepark named in honor of a 14-year-old York City boy who died in 2006.
Since 2008, the Reid Menzer Memorial Skatepark has offered skateboard enthusiasts a safe place to practice their sport – a facility the York Catholic High School eighth-grader had wanted for his hometown but never got to see.
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 latest fundraising campaign, dubbed “360 – Finish What We Started,” aims to raise $500,000 to add lights, improve skater amenities and expand the park. The campaign will also create a permanent maintenance endowment.
“The park gives skateboarders a place to skate away from busy streets, and it is constantly being used. It’s important for the safety of the skaters in our community that we finish what we started by completing this campaign and providing these final, needed amenities,” said campaign chairman Bill Shipley, according to a news release.
Already, campaign organizers have raised $260,000, the release says.
The expansion project will add 7,125 feet to the existing park.
New elements will be created from salvaged industrial objects. New lighting will extend the hours the park is open to skaters.
A committee of fundraisers will kick off the campaign from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday at The Parliament, 116 E. King St. The kickoff will include an exhibit and auction of skateboards painted by more than 50 local artists.