110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Team gets new ally in 40-year skateboarding veteran
posted Dec 13, 2013 - 12:15:25pm
James “Jimmy” Anderson said he never reads the newspaper. However, having moved in October from New York to Orange City, he saw a copy of The Beacon.
Anderson said he saw the word “park” on the front page, and picked up the newspaper and began reading, for reasons he couldn’t explain.
The article was about Colin’s Dream Park, a hoped-for skateboard park to honor the life of an Orange City youngster who died when he was hit by a car while skating. The story reported that the Orange City Council had put off a decision about where to locate the park until after the first of the year.
After reading the article, Anderson said, his eyes filled with tears as he recalled being hit by a car while skateboarding in 1976, as a child on Long Island.
Now Anderson has become a strong ally of the group working to build the skate park.
“I don’t know why I left that paper on the coffee table, but I did,” said Terry Mennche, Anderson’s fiancee said. “It was a week old.”
A skateboarder for 40 years, Anderson wanted to share his story with Colin’s family, and help make the dream of a skatepark become a reality.
“The craziest thing was to land here, read the story, and meet Casi,” Anderson said.
Casi is Cassandra Sprague, Colin’s mother. She and friends and family members, with the help of the community, have been working to raise funds and find a location for Colin’s Dream Park since Colin’s death in February.
Sprague hopes to reach the organization’s goal of $100,000 by the end of 2014, and have a skate park finished by the time Colin would have been 15, in April 2015.
“I don’t want to just break ground, I want to have a finished park,” Sprague said.
She said it is important for young people to have a place like Colin’s Dream Park, where they can safely hang out and ride their boards, blades, bikes, or anything else on wheels.
The dream for Colin’s Dream Park is that it will be made of concrete, for durability and low maintenance.
It wouldn’t be just a bowl, but a complete park. Anderson said a skater should be able to “go into the park and continue to move without ever leaving your board.”
Colin was 12 when he died. He played baseball and football and loved to ride his skateboard. Sprague said he loved life and was nice to everybody. He also was well-loved; people wrapped around the building in the rain to attend his memorial service, his mom said.
“He was just a little boy having fun trying to make it home for curfew,” Sprague said.
The Colin’s Dream Park team has used several methods to raise money for the park, including yard sales and a Princess cookware party. The most recent event was a spaghetti dinner where Anderson and Sprague met for the first time.
So far, the organization has raised $48,000. Sprague said that once the goal of $100,000 is met, the group can apply for matching funds from a Volusia County ECHO grants — a special fund for construction of facilities for “environmental, cultural, historic and outdoors” recreation.
Upcoming fundraisers include a cookout planned Saturday, Jan. 11, at DeLand’s skateboard park in Earl Brown Park, and a one-year anniversary fundraiser Sunday, Feb. 9.
A time and location for the anniversary event hasn’t been decided, but the event will feature an auction of donated items, including four Disney World park-hopper passes and Gatorland passes. Raffles and a 50/50 drawing are also planned.
Sprague said she also intends to apply for a Tony Hawk grant in January. She is determined to make Colin’s Dream Park a reality.
“I don’t want to make this a lifetime career; I want a park,” she said. “My goal is to have a park built before the kids who rode with Colin that night get cars, their own life, and move away from Orange City.”
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