Skateboarders grind into a safe place in York
Article Last Updated: 09/08/2008 10:54:06 AM EDT
Sunday truly was bittersweet for Eric Menzer.
Sweet because a two-year-long project was complete. Bitter because his son was not among hundreds of skateboarders who broke in the Reid Menzer Memorial SkatePark.
Before the ribbon was cut and the top-of-the-line concrete outdoor park was officially opened, Eric Menzer said he and his wife, Kendell, and daughter Frances would rather not be there, meaning he wished Reid was there and that the park was not a memorial.
He asked the crowd -- the kids, teens, adults -- to share in a moment of silence in recognition of Reid, who died Jan. 22, 2006. The 14-year-old eighth-grader at York Catholic High School was riding a street luge, which is similar to a skateboard but longer, when he was
struck by a car at the intersection of Arlington Street and Merion Road.
Josiah Renn, 19, of York City grinds along the top rail of the bowl Sunday during opening day at the Reid Menzer Memorial SkatePark. (John Pavoncello Photo)
His friends, fellow skaters and family decided to build a skate park in his honor. He'd often told his father that York should have a skate park, a place where likeminded people could learn, practice and excel at their sport. The city donated property; numerous others donated time, services and money to build the park.
There are no fees, no fences and no run-ins with police or property owners as long as all respect the park.
Thanks to all: Eric Menzer stood in front of the crowd thanking donors,
workers, volunteers and vendors who'd helped the idea become reality. Skaters, designers, builders, concrete men and community activists pitched in to build the concrete park, which thus far has cost about $400,000.
Attendees applauded Menzer; some clapped, others hit skateboards on concrete. The park, after all, is theirs. They are responsible for themselves, for garbage and for each other, the old looking after the young.
They are tasked with keeping noise to a low roar as not to disturb neighbors. They also must respect posted park hours and rules that include no smoking, alcoholic beverages, profanity or fighting.
Josh Munson, 16, and John Evin Groom, 15, both of Spring Garden Township, filmed and photographed the opening day ceremony to post online. Munson said he's kept tabs on the project since the beginning. Neither of the teens knew Reid, but they said they believe his fellow skateboarders will step up and do their part in care of the park.
They listened to Eric Menzer, to city officials and builders who spoke during the ceremony. Josh and John said the park is a big deal, that there's nothing like it within miles. They said skaters would come from Baltimore, Harrisburg and Lancaster.
Passion for sport: "What he's doing benefits so many, he's helped so many," Josh said about Eric Menzer. "People should remember that (skateboarding) is more than a piece of wood with wheels. We have a passion for this, just like anyone who loves any other sport."
He added that he respects Menzer for the effort and also for the pain that comes on days like Sunday when his son wasn't there to enjoy the work.
"If it were me, I don't know," Josh said. "He's just a really strong man."
After the ceremony, after the ribbon was cut and skaters rolled and walked into the park, Menzer talked briefly. He said this is the only kind of memorial to his son he could've been involved in.
"I had no interest in (erecting) a sign," Menzer said. "This is safe, and it's legal. Kids don't have to go onto the streets or on private property or in parking lots." York Daily Record
Skate park to open
It will memorialize Reid Menzer, who died in 2006 while street lugeing.
By MIKE ARGENTO —
Groundbreaking for the Reid Menzer Memorial Skate Park will be June 2 during what has been billed as the largest skateboarding event York has ever seen. The event, at the skate park site in York's Memorial Park, is also intended to raise money to help pay for construction of the 23,000-square-foot park.
So far, organizers have raised almost $245,000 toward the $334,000 cost of the park. "It's pretty thrilling, obviously," said Eric Menzer, Reid's father and a vice president with Wagman Construction. "There's a lot more work to do, but we're clearly at the point where we'll be able to make it happen."
The park is intended to memorialize Menzer's 14-year-old son, Reid, who was killed in a street luge crash in January 2006. Reid loved skateboarding, and in addition to being a tribute to his memory, developers of the park hope it will give skateboarders a place to practice their hobby safely.
Menzer said fundraising for the park has been going well. "I'm overwhelmed to see the way people have responded."Contributions have ranged from $15,000 donations to $5 purchases of memorial wristbands. Students at Hannah Penn Middle School had a dress-down day fundraiser. Other students have put on band concerts and conducted candy sales to raise money. The skate park even received a $10,000 donation from Tony Hawk, perhaps the most famous professional skateboarder in the world.
The event, which runs noon to 6 p.m., will feature four bands, skateboarding demonstrations, art displays, a raffle and an auction that will include skateboards, tattoos and a signed poster from Hawk. Admission is $5. Menzer said the park - to be constructed, in part, by California Skateparks - should be finished by the end of the summer.
York Daily Record
Icon donates money to park
Skateboarding's Tony Hawk gave $10,000 to the Reid Menzer Memorial Skate Park.
By TED CZECH
Fundraising for the Reid Menzer Memorial Skate Park has reached the two-thirds mark and recently received help from a skateboarding icon.
Last month, skateboarding pro Tony Hawk's foundation donated $10,000 to the project to build a skate park in honor of 14-year-old Reid Menzer, who died a year ago in a street luge crash. "It moves us closer to our goal. ... I also think in some way it's validation for our project," said Eric Menzer, Reid's father.
Eric Menzer said the project's budget is set for $334,000, and so far, they have raised more than $200,000. Menzer said the foundation was looking for involvement from local skateboarders and success in fundraising. Eric Menzer said that project planners hope to launch a campaign soon to get in-kind donations for the park, like materials and construction services from local companies. Wagman Construction, of which Eric Menzer is vice president, will be donating all of the construction management work, he said.
He said ground will be broken on the 23,000-square-foot park during the summer.
Eric Menzer said planning the park has been an eye-opening experience for him. He's learned there are legions of skateboarders in York County. "They're skating illegally because there's nowhere else to do it," he said. "At least half of the people who come to these meetings are adults who skateboard." The park will not only be a tribute to his son, but also might help prevent other skateboarding-related deaths from occurring, he said.
September 25, 2006
Skatepark organizers seek input
City facility to be built in memory of teen killed in January
The joys of grinding a handrail versus the thrill of dipping a skateboard into a deep bowl and coming out on the other side -- they will all be up for debate. Skateboarders of all ages are invited to give their input on a York City skatepark. At a design meeting to be held Wednesday, skaters such as 16-year-old Matt Devlin will help decide whether the park will look like a city street, an otherworldly landscape of concrete dips and basins, or something in between. "I know a lot of people want street, but I think it would be cool to have a bowl," said Matt. He said he hopes a variety of designs can be worked together, giving all users the kind of place they want to skate.
In memoriam: The park is being built in memory of Matt's best friend, Reid Menzer, a York City boy who died in January at age 14. Reid had been riding a street luge, which is like a skateboard but ridden while lying down, when he was hit by a car. Reid, an avid skateboarder, had complained for years that the city did not have a skatepark. His death spurred family, friends and strangers to work together to build the park that he had wanted, for the benefit of other skateboard lovers. The concrete skatepark, to be built at the city's Veterans Memorial Park, will be funded entirely through private donations. Designing it will be the Site Design Group Inc. of Tempe, Ariz., which has been involved in the creation of more than 80 skateparks, most of them on the West Coast. A representative of Site Design Group will survey skaters to find out what type of landscape they want to skate in and what kind of props they want for their tricks -- "if they want the stairs, the handrails, the quarter pipes," said Brad Siedlecki, designer and project manager for the company.
$65,000 in the bank: After Wednesday's meeting, the company will put together a few potential designs. Those will be presented at a second meeting, at which skateboarders will get to choose which they like best and give suggestions to make it even better, Siedlecki said. Skatepark construction could begin next year, and fund raising for the project continues. A benefit concert last weekend raised almost $2,400 toward the park, said Rob Koller, who has been involved in project fund raising. Yet though more than $65,000 has been raised toward the park's estimated $150,000 price tag in the months since the project began, Koller said he expects fund raising to become more difficult in the future. "We picked the low fruits, but I'm sure we'll work for the additional ones," Koller said. The effort will come from a devoted group. Matt Devlin and others involved in the efforts are not enjoying the new experiences that come with the work, but they are inspired by the reason behind it all. "I'm willing to do that because it's all for Reid," Matt said. "So no matter how hard the work gets, it's all worth it." The public design meeting is to be held Wednesday in the second floor community room of the Memorial Park Ice Rink at 900 S. Vander Ave. The meeting is set to begin at 7 p.m. and scheduled to last until 9 p.m.
York Daily Record
June 1, 2006
Concert in memory of Reid
Friends of the teen are raising money for a skate park
Jun 1, 2006 — Reid Menzer loved to skate, but because York is sans skate park, getting one built was something he always talked about. Reid was struck by a car while riding a street luge in York on Jan. 22. Since Reid's death, his friends have been planning fundraisers and benefits to make his words a reality. "It's going to cost a lot of money," Matt Devlin said, "but it would be a great memorial to him. He was a great guy." Matt, 15, is a freshman at York Catholic and was a good friend of Reid's. Matt said Reid met a professional longboarder and wanted to have a demo of the sport in York. After Reid died, Matt contacted the longboarder. Even though the demo didn't pan out, a benefit concert took its place. Matt and many of Reid's other friends and family members have put in many hours to organize the event that will boast plenty of food and raffles for skaters and nonskaters alike. "The bands are a real big variety," Matt said. "Each has their own style." The event is free, but Matt and the team of people who organized the event are banking on food sales (Subway, Domino's and Rita's), raffle tickets and donations to boost the bank toward Reid's skate park. There are two types of raffles one for skaters and one for nonskaters. There are skate decks, skate wheels and T-shirts for the skate-savvy guests and gift certificates for the friends of the skaters. As for the skate park, the vision is still just a vision. "There are a few proposed sites," he said. "It will take a little while. Maybe one to four years." In the meantime, Matt and his friends will continue to get together with music, skateboarding and companionship to keep Reid's memory alive because those were the things he loved. NICKI LEFEVER
The line up Noon to 12:30 p.m.: Autumn's Rising 12:45 to 1:15 p.m.: Handwritten Ammunition 1:30 to 2 p.m.: Crunk Alms & Co. 3 to 3:30 p.m.: 27 Lights 3:45 to 4:15 p.m.: Pandora's Musicbox 4:30 to 5 p.m.: Kingsfoil
Another Generous Family Turns Sorrow Into a Legacy in the Community
On October 31, 2007, York County lost another young skater and rider when 20-year-old Jared James Herman died. The Herman family designated the Reid Menzer Memorial Skatepark Fund as one of the places for people who want to honor Jared to make contributions.
It is touching and humbling that at a terrible time, another family has thought about the hundreds and thousands of other riders in York County who love skateboarding and BMX and who want a place to call their own and practice the sport they love. Below is a tribute to Jared written by his mother, Corey, and his brother Jordan.
Jared James Herman
December 9, 1986 – October 31, 2007
Jared started life on the edge, so to speak, and continued to live it not only to the fullest but also on the edge! He was due on Thanksgiving and was finally born over a week later but still refused to breathe in his new life and became the biggest baby in the neonatal unit in the Harrisburg Hospital. Over the years the family continued to grow and experience life on the edge with each new phase.
Jared started riding bike with his older brother Justin and their mutual friends from school, which also were riding at Bumps & Berms and racing BMX. After finding sponsors and learning about different manufacturers, the family along with friends started traveling to all kinds of competitions held sometimes during the week but mostly every weekend.
Jared became interested in the Gravity Games and riding BMX in skate parks so his world widened even more and not only was he riding bike but also skateboards, and instead of racing competitions, we were attending stunt competitions. Jared loved to travel to East Coast Destruction for his birthday and take along a few friends. Before Voodoo even opened their doors in New Cumberland Jared was there to check it out and met Carlos and the Bastard on Wheels gang. Stunt riding became the norm not only for Jared but also for his younger brother Jordan and all of their friends.
If you would ask Jordan what his thoughts are about Jared, his response would be something like, one of the most loved, talented, smartest and supportive kids in this world. Jared had so many friends from all over the place and not one of them had anything unkind to say about him. Jared and Jordan and their friends would drive to Philadelphia to a concrete park called FDR practically every Sunday. Once there Jared would either hop on his bike and ride or his board and just shred the park, everyone there had nothing but love for him. Jared was the type of person who did not need to impress anyone or judge anyone; he did not hold grudges or talk about things behind your back, if he had something to say it got said to you.
Whatever Jared tried to do, he seemed to do well; he could tear up a mini ramp with his bike or his board and then go to work and create the sickest tattoos you’d ever see. Some times in the morning, Jared and Jordan would decide to have band practice and Jordan would be playing the guitar while Jared would sing, he had a great voice. It was already decided they would have a band. However the type of music was still to be decided, as both boys liked almost every type of music there is. Jared was also an avid reader and not only introduced his brother to some controversial authors but also his parents, there were a number of discussions on Charles Bukowski and Hunter S Thompson, along with Oliver Stone and the Beatles. Jared liked the old school tattoos and studied Sailor Jerry and others; he loved to sketch and was starting to watercolor. Most all of his art was transferred to someone’s skin, so if you have a tattoo by Jared you’ve received one from the best!
Jared was taken from us much too soon and has left a large void in all of our hearts, he will not only be missed by his family but also his friends and acquaintances. We are all looking forward to seeing him once again and hope until then he will be able to look out for each and every one of us. We love you Jared.
Heater Skateboards Tribute Deck
Heater Skateboards produced a skateboard deck that is a tribute to Reid and a fundraiser for the park. The deck came in three sizes and sold for $54.99, and every sale benefitted the park.The initial supply of the decks was sold out.
York Catholic Raises Over $1,000 for Skatepark
York Catholic High School students, faculty and staff raised $1,023.56 for the skatepark during their "Mission" collections the week of January 22, 2007. Thanks to Principal George Andrews and all members of the York Catholic family for their generousity.
Dance Raises $426 for Skatepark
The benefit dance at St. Pat's on January 27, 2007 raised $426 for the skatepark. Thanks to Corinne Hess who organized the event and everyone who attended.
Latest Concert Raises over $1,200 for the Skatepark
The New Year, New Beginning Benefit Concert, held on January 6, 2007, raised $2,416. The money will be split between Olivia's House and the Reid Menzer Memorial Skate Park. A special thanks goes out to Brittany Argall for organizing this great concert.
Tony Hawk Foundation Awards $10,000 Grant!
The Tony Hawk Foundation has awarded a $10,000 grant to the Reid Menzer Memorial Skatepark. From a field of over 100 applicants, the 22 award recipients demonstrated their dedication to building free, quality public skateparks, and were able to show success in their fundraising efforts to-date
The Tony Hawk Foundation awards grants for the construction of public skateparks in low-income areas. Twice annually, its Board of Directors meets to review applications. The $190,000 awarded this term brings the Foundation's total grants for 2006 to $340,000. Since it was established in 2002, the Tony Hawk Foundation has awarded more than $1.5-million to 313 public-skatepark projects across the United States.
Concert Raises Another $600+ for the Park
On December 16, a concert by McRad and 4 other skate bands raised over $600 for the skatepark. Organized by local skater Paul Renn, the show brought out local skaters to support THEIR skatepark. Thanks to McRad, Lianna, The Smiles Project, Carpenter Ant and SuperBuick for volunteering and coming to York From Philadelphia, Allentown and Lancaster to help with this project.
THANK YOU PAUL and so many other people who continue to give of their time and money to help make this happen.
Film Festival Brings Out Skaters and Raises Another $1,200 for Skatepark!
The Reid Menzer Memorial Skatepark Fund gives a HUGE Thank You to South York Cinema for donating their theater and their time for this special one-time event ! Without them this benefit would not have existed! Please support your locally-owned, independent businesses like South York Cinema.
Major props to Eric Bollin for creating and producing this event.
A special thanks to Jaime Duncan for all his special help, and 1350 WYOK ESPN Radio for their awesome contributions.
Thanks also to the people behind the scenes. Some of the finest people making the skateboard film festival happen are as follows in no particular order ... Chris Pitrowski, Mike @ Fishbone, Jeff @ Alternative Sports, Radiation Ray @ Rayzor Tattoos, Eric Kearns @ The Shoppe Revival, Joe @ Funtastik, Ben @ Kinetic Skateboarding, the entire Welty family, Punk Rock Reuben, Fluke, Steve Swetz, Mike Hellman, Rodney Mullen and Kirsten Missen @ Dwindle Distribution and Whyte House Productions, PD @ Skull Skates, Michael Breamo @ Gravity, Mike Hirsch and Family @ Socalskateshop.com, Brian Brannon @ Blitz Distribution, Errand Boy, Salba, Kelly Belmar @ Factory Skateboards, Terri @ Juice Magazine, Michael Brooke @ Concrete Wave Magazine, Chicken @ Pocket Pistols Skateboards, Street Beach, Bacon Skateboards, DaVo @ Skaterbuilt, Khiro Bob @ Khiro Skateboard Products, Winstan Whitter, Bart Saric, Crimson, Adio, Powell as well as Peralta, Consolidated, Ian MacKaye @ Dischord Records, Damon's Grill, The York Daily Record, The York Dispatch, 99.7 York College Radio, and the entire PA Skate Community !
Hearon's Marathon Raises Over $10,000!
The winnner! In his skatepark t-shirt - and on the right in the "H" shirt
On November 4, 2006 Hearon Dickson raised over $10,000 for the skatepark by running the New York City Marathon - his first - with a time of 4:19:05. Now a resident of Raleigh, NC, Hearon and his family are one of the Menzer's oldest and dearest friends. Pledges came in from all over the country to support his effort. Thanks, Hearon - you're the winner, as far as we're concerned!
In his words - Hearon's original fundraising request:
Friends: For the overwhelming majority of you, this is the first letter like this you have received from me. So here goes....
On January 22, 2006, our very dear friends, Kendall and Eric Menzer, received the phone call that every parent dreads. Their 14 year old son, Reid, had been hit by a car while riding on his "street luge" skateboard. By the time Kendall and Eric arrived at York County (PA) Hospital, Reid had died from his injuries.
Reid was a great kid!! Full of life and love and energy. Reid fully embraced everything and everyone around him, whether it was his participation on the Dallastown Cougars baseball team, playing in his band, Autumn's Rising, skateboarding, or just hanging out with his friends. One of Reid's dreams was that there would be a public skatepark in York. Such a park, Reid felt, would give kids a safer place to participate in this rapidly growing sport. The Reid Menzer Memorial Skatepark will serve to fulfill that dream and provide such a place for those youth.
On November 5, 2006 I will be running the New York Marathon in honor of Reid and his family and as a fundraiser for the skatepark. My hope is that you will agree to sponsor me in this effort by pledging a certain amount of money per mile that I run. For example, a donation of $4 per mile would mean a donation of $104.
Deciding to do this was easy, as Kendall and Eric are not only two of my closest friends but are also two of my oldest and favorite running buddies. In fact, in 1993 Eric and I were supposed to run the marathon together. He succeeded and I did not. That history provides additional incentive for this effort this year. I fully understand that you receive innumerable requests for donations to various causes, and that it is difficult, if not impossible, to support every one of them. I ask you to please consider supporting me in this cause.
Before deciding, I heartily encourage you to learn more about the skatepark and the outpouring of support at the following site:http://www.reidmenzermemorialskatepark.org This site will help explain more what a special person Reid was and why I am so passionate about this endeavor. Tax-deductible donations should be made payable to the Reid Menzer Memorial Skatepark Fund and given to me or sent to me at 2405 Fairview Road Raleigh, NC 27608. Alternatively, you can follow the donation instructions on the skatepark website. Please reference the New York Marathon in the memo field of your check. Or, of course, you can reply to this email with a pledge and I will follow-up with you in November after my completion of the marathon.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT!! Hearon
|September 16 Acoustic Benefit Raises Over $2,400!|
It was another great night for fundraising, and another great tribute to Reid at the Acoustic Benefit on September 16. The night raised over $2,400 for the skatepark.
A big thanks to all those who organized it and worked - especially Zack Jackson and Matt Devlin. Also, our thanks go to all the "bakers" who made things for the bake sale - even many folks who could not attend helped-out. Finally, our thanks to Rev. David Lovelace and St. John's for letting us use the church.
And a special thanks goes out to the bands who donated their time:
Rich King Phil, The Secrecy, Crunk Alms & Co., Autumns Rising and Kingsfoil -they were all awesome that night.
June 3 Benefit Concert Raises Over $6,000!
The benefit concert on June 3 raised over $6,000 in cash and sponsorships - far more than the goal!
A HUGE thank you goes out to all who worked so hard on the event, those who attended, bought food and raffle tickets, and added to the spirit of the day. Special thanks goes to:
Matt Devlin - creator and chairman of the event
Mike Gilmore - Matt's right-hand man
Kevin Lichty - food sales
Frances Menzer & Kyle Chapman - sponsorships and publicity
Zack Jackson, Kyle Beard, Sean Farrell, Sean Barney - music
Judy Woods & Melinda Eppolito - sponsorships & donations
Steve Doud & members of Kingsfoil- technical crew
Jim Gross & Russ Dorm at the City of York
Special thanks to Amanda Fleetwood at Fishbone and Jeff Doutrich at Alternative Sports for their help
And to the bands that donated their time -
Autumns Rising, Crunk Alms & Co., Handwritten Ammunition, 27 Lights, Capital H, Pandora's Musicbox, and Kingsfoil
T-Shirts and wristbands raised thousands of dollars for the skatepark.