‘Skate or Die!’ Benefit for local skate park Shreds

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Lila Miller, A&E Editor

Plans for the Savannah Skate Park at Lake Mayer. Courtesy of Ben Maher, CEO.

Skate or die!is an often-used battlecry for skaters and fans alike. It is also the name of The Jinxs recent benefit event for the first free skate park in Savannah: The Savannah Skate Park.

The Jinx hosted a Punk Rock Garage Sale Saturday, Feb. 4, and a night of bands from 9 p.m. until well into early hours. The benefit brought vendors and bands together to raise support and funds for the long-awaited skate park.

Since 2009, the Chatham County Skate Park Supporters (CCSPS) have been working with county Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments in order to secure space for the skate park.

After several years, the CCSPS has established a ground lease with the county for an area within Lake Mayer Community Park to build the park. CCSPS has also found a contractor ready for the build, Team Pain Skateparks, based out of Orlando, Fl.

After securing the land, the CCSPS still needed the funds in order to build the park. At this time,  they have raised over $160,000. The first venture began with a t-shirt campaign with Marc Jacobs International which raised over $115,000. In 2012, they also received a $25,000 grant in 2012 from the Tony Hawk Foundation, one of the largest grants they award and widely esteemed in skatepark advocacy.

They have hosted skateboard art shows, benefit breakfasts, skateboard contests and childrens skate and art camps that have helped them raise over $25,000 within the Savannah area.

The Jinxs garage sale was put together by the Savannah-based artist known as Tittybats. He coordinated various vendors including Armstrong alumnus, Edward Nixon, who graduated last year. Nixon showcased lithographic prints of his illustrations, patches, glass-etched pint glasses as well as t-shirts.

Other vendors included Tittybats himself; Graveface Records; artist and baker Greta Odrezin; SCAD graphic design major Rachael Boswell; and Savannah artist Camden Noir.

Jinx manager Gilbert Cruz organized a raffle contest and sold home-made sweet potato and pork tamales. The raffle featured many gifts from local businesses, artists and skateboarders donating items to help bring the skate park dreams closer to fruition.

The benefit concert featured local bands Damon and The Shitkickers, Cray Bags, Greta O. and The Toxic Shock, Jeff Two Names and the Born Agains, as well as Atlanta bands Order of the Owls and Burns Like Fire. Door donations of at least $5 and raffle tickets went directly to the CCSPS.

Grassroots campaigns need strength and support from communities in order to succeed. The Jinxs benefit sale and show raised over $1400 and gave skate park coordinators another leg up in the mission to build the Savannah Skate Park.

The next fundraising event will be held at Vinnie Van Go-Gos Thursday, Feb. 16, from 5-11 p.m. where 50 percent of the proceeds will go to the cost of building the park. On Feb. 25, the following week, Sorry Charlies Oyster Bar will feature an Oyster Roast where proceeds will also go to the skate park.

For more information on the Savannah Skate Park, visit savannahskatepark.com