Turning dreams into reality
The kids of Carbon are turning their dream of a local skatepark into a reality. The hope is to have somewhere safe for them to skate and hang out.
When Colin O’Brien, along with friends Johnny Guest, Brendan Maccarahan and Jenna Maccarahan approached O’Brien’s parents explaining their vision of a skatepark, it went much farther than just a physical place to hang out. It grew into a positive community of both kids and parents. The community these kids have envisioned has already started to take form. A combination of kids and adults have come together to raise funds for the skatepark project.
“Things started up one eve- ning when a few local kids I know who hang out with my son came to my house asking for help. They said, ‘ we need a skatepark. Can you help us?” They said they didn’t want anything big and elaborate just a spot where they can hang out, do jumps and tricks in a safer place rather than on the roads in town and in front of our community hall,” said Renee O’Brien.
Renee said she started with a petition to see if the community of Carbon would support such an endeavour. Right away they had many signatures and from there the Carbon Youth Outdoor Skatepark group proposed their idea to the Village of Carbon. The Village of Carbon has allotted land by the swimming pool and outdoor skating rink for the skatepark to be built.
The Carbon Youth Outdoor Skatepark group obtained quotes from several companies and decided to go with a local company with a quote of $62,000 for the project.
“It’s nothing big or elaborate but it is an area to skate and stay off the roads,” said O’Brien.
They have held fundraisers such as bottle drives, teen dances, the Carbon Valley Hoopla and sold concessions over the summer. One event, “You Have Been Royally Flushed” has been such a huge success they have run this fundraiser two years in a row. “Royally Flushed” was put into action for the first time May of 2014. The fundraiser caught the eye of Global News Calgary when people were scrambling to pay the $10 fee to get a toilet removed from their front lawn. The $10 donation bought the donator the option to choose who to “Flush” next. The very next year toilets started showing up on people’s lawns once again, prompting “Royally Flushed” to start up again in May of 2015.
“The parents who joined up to help out right away with getting things going and helping out with the fundraising events were myself, my husband Brian O’Brien, Faye Hector, Cheryl Maccarahan and Marie Kooiman. Everyone in the community has all helped out with things when they can, whether it is supplying the soup and chili’s for our concessions to driving trucks for bottle drives or chaperoning teen dances and lugging the toilet around for Royally Flushed.” O’Brien said.
The group has raised $18,000 to date but still has $47,000 to go. Their next fundraiser, a chili and pie cook off, on Saturday, October 15 during Oktoberfest. The event will be located at the Carbon Valley Hotel parking lot from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The boys taking in the Drumheller Skatepark, dreaming of the day when Carbon’s own skatepark is finally a reality.