Well, after MONTHS of preparation by a lot of Rochester’s finest business owners, the Rally for the Roc City Skate Park was finally here. After the rainiest Spring on record, we thought the weather finally was going to be on our side… And then… just as we finished setting up all of the ramps, vendors, etc…. lightning, rain, thunder! So frustrating. We made the executive decision to move everyone inside Max at High Falls…. then the rain stopped. The schedule was shot, but we were able to finish the day and party through the night!
The Friends of the Roc City Skate Park did a wonderful job putting on this huge “friend-raiser” for the largest skatepark in the United States. We had 4 professional skateboarders and one professional bmx rider, plus other amateur level riders from Krudco and dozens of kids who raised money to skate with the pros. Here is the Board of Directors (including me!)…
The weekend began for me on Friday evening at Krudco Skateboard Shop with an autograph signing by Zoo York skater, Ron Deily. Wow, what a friendly and laid back guy. Red Bull was on hand to show off their MXT vehicle and pass out a plethora of their drinks. Ron made the kids do all sorts of things to earn signed skateboard decks and other prizes! I was able to score an easy birthday present for my older brother who skates. Actually, some of the earliest photos I ever took were of him skating.
Saturday was a bit chaotic for me as I ran down to Max for the Friends of the Roc City Skatepark Board meeting, then ran home to finish packing my car and pick up my SUPER assistant, Dan Ross... a Groom from last year! Dan and I setup the outdoor McKay’s Photography booth just in time for it to pour down rain. So, we packed everything back up and re-setup inside Max. Phew! During all of this, I also was delegating the setup for my indoor McKay’s Photography booth with on-site photo printing. Thanks to Dan, I stayed on track and relatively sane. Note to self…. always bring an assistant that is tall… they come in handy! It was excellent to see Brittany and Mike (Dan’s brother) hanging out and having fun too!
Once the rain stopped, it was a great time. I feel like I didn’t get to photograph nearly as much as I had planned because the schedule was thrown out and I was constantly pulled in 4 different directions at once. Special thanks to Lori Coleman and Angie Carter of Goatmouth Studio for helping to photograph the event. Also Terri Parthum for editing all day!
The VIP event was a blast though. We had a slideshow with the best images from the day (3 photographers!!) and there was a performance by Aerial Arts of Rochester, speeches by Jim Maddison (RCP President), Luis Burgos who is probable our biggest fan at City Hall (Commissioner for Recreation and Youth Services) and most important, a brief and touching speech by Sheila Foxx. There were tears on everyone’s faces as she talked about her son, Akeer, and his passion for skateboarding, which killed him….
Sheila Foxx’s 14 year old son Akeer T. Matthews was hit by a car on October 8th 2010 while riding his skateboard and passed away on October 9th. “I was devastated. Actually, that is an understatement. Words cannot describe how I felt. I didn’t know what to do. Akeer never had a place to ride his skateboard and skateboarding was his passion. Akeer and his friends would try to skateboard in empty parking lots or at playgrounds but at each location there was a sign, NO SKATEBOARDERS ALLOWED. But as I mentioned, it was his passion, he was determined to skate anywhere he could. Unfortunately, like most skaters that place has become our business parking lots and busy city streets. In the name of Akeer, please help Roc City SkatePark become a place for them to skate. ANY donations would be appreciated.”
The weekend ended with a ride around Rochester in the Red Bull MXT and skateboarding with pro-skater, Ron Deily, for the largest fundraiser for the Rally… Jesse Morland! I was on hand to be the Professional Photographer and provide a photo shoot for Jesse and Ron. We headed downtown to Manhattan Square Park and within 30 seconds we were kicked out by the security at the HSBC office building! Ah, if only there was a legal and safe place to skate in the city of Rochester…..
Media Links for the Roc City Skatepark Rally at High Falls: