Turn­ing dreams into re­al­ity

The Drumheller Mail - - SPORTS - Krystin McHugh The Drumheller Mail photo sub­mit­ted

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.

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