From Sea To Grinding Sea

Tony Hawk Foundation skatepark grants aren’t limited to the Lower 48.


Tony Hawk visits with skatepark advocate and Officer Kenny Manning and his colleagues at the Port Chester, New York Police Department. In Port Chester, as elsewhere, cops are kids’ greatest champions. (Photo: Eric de Winter)

Vista, CA (November 8, 2019)—From Anchorage, Alaska to Port Chester, New York, the Tony Hawk Foundation announces the latest recipients of its skatepark grants. Since 2002, THF has been assisting local leaders and community groups in the planning and funding of their free, public skateparks, and these latest grant recipients represent not only geographic diversity, but include everything from a rural village to a major metropolis. 

With fewer than 100,000 residents, Reading Pennsylvania was home to the famous 1970s-era Magic Skatepark that continued to be skated into the 1990s and was a mecca for East Coast skateboarders. Local efforts for a new public skatepark began in 2016 and have been led by the Reading Skatepark Association, which has held a range of fundraising and community-awareness events, including dinners, bake sales, and the aptly named ShReading Fest. With the THF skatepark grant, the RSA is now more than halfway to its fundraising goal, and hopes to break ground on its skatepark in Spring 2020. 

“The Reading Skatepark Association is very honored to be the recipient of the Tony Hawk Foundation grant,” said the RSA’s Lynne Burns. “This has a great effect on the youth of this community, whose needs often go unaddressed. The young people of Reading need to be shown that they are worthy of having both their peers and the adult community advocate for them to have a safe, accessible place to enjoy—a facility that is being built with their likes and needs in mind, and not just another project geared to adults. The Reading Skatepark Association strives to not only have the new skatepark be a venue of sport and exercise, but where the youth of Reading can be empowered to be part of the next generation of leaders and be advocates for a better, healthier community.”

THF and the communities it serves have benefited from the generosity of the foundation’s supporters and sponsors, and this Fall several THF skatepark grants were made possible by former skatepark advocates and musicians Portugal. The Man (Anchorage, Alaska), Clif Bar & Company (San Francisco, California), and the Alex LeVasseur Memorial Fund (Laramie, Wyoming), which supports skatepark projects that demonstrate a strong commitment to local youth and exemplary community outreach efforts.

Through its partnership with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, THF has also been able to offer substantial matching grants to skatepark projects in Southeast Michigan and Western New York. With a goal of reducing the environmental impact of new skateparks, the Built to Play Skatepark Grant program now has an environmental-impact component that promotes responsible planning and building strategies, and offers up to $300,000 in matching grants. In its first year, Built to Play helped fund fourteen skatepark projects, with two already open in Michigan and its first in New York due in early 2020. 

With a population of 1,598, Ellicottville, New York is nevertheless pursuing a substantial 10,000-square-foot skatepark, a space suitable for a community many times its size. But local advocates believe the skatepark will attract a much broader range of users than expected. “That’s the great thing about skateboarding—it knows no boundaries,” said Brenda Perks of the Ellicottville Skatepark Committee. “It’s an activity with a presence across all demographics. Families are taking up the sport together. Parents who skated as teenagers are now introducing it to their kids.  Individuals with disabilities are able to enjoy the sport, thanks to funded programming and innovative equipment. It’s for everyone!


Fall 2019 THF Skatepark Grants

  • Reading, Pennsylvania (pop. 88,495)                                                                            $25,000
  • Port Chester, New York (pop. 29,711) – East Coast Super Session Grant                      25,000
  • Anchorage, Alaska (pop. 294,356) – Portugal. The Man Grant                                       10,000
  • McKinleyville, California (pop. 15,177)                                                                             10,000
  • Laramie, Wyoming (pop. 32,306) – Alex LeVasseur Memorial Fund Grant                     10,000
  • San Francisco, California (Treasure Island) pop. 884,363 – Clif Bar & Company Grant  5,000  

    Fall 2019 Built to Play Skatepark Grants

  • Ellicottville, New York (pop. 1,598)                  $300,000
  • Lockport, New York (pop. 20,722)                     300,000
  • Redford, Michigan (pop. 48,362)                       300,000


The Tony Hawk Foundation and Built to Play Skatepark Grants will be available again this Winter. Follow THF on social media or sign up for the Skatepark Insider newsletter at and receive the announcement in your e-mail inbox. For more information about starting a public-skatepark project in your town, visit THF online or write to us at


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Tony Hawk Foundation

A charitable, non-profit organization, the Tony Hawk Foundation was established in 2002 by its namesake, professional skateboarder Tony Hawk. THF promotes and provides advocacy training and funds for high-quality public skateparks in low-income areas throughout the United States that promote healthy, active lifestyles, and to International programs that enrich the lives of youth through skateboarding.

Domestically, the Foundation’s Skatepark Grant programs have awarded over $10-million to 631 communities in all 50 States, including $4-million through its Built to Play Skatepark Program in partnership with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. THF focuses on working with local officials and grassroots, community-based organizations that plan to hire designers and contractors with strong experience designing and building skateparks.

The Foundation’s International Program has provided technical support to skatepark projects on every continent and awarded $150,000 to assist youth through the Skateistan educational programs in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa (

The Tony Hawk Foundation was established by a gift from Tony Hawk. Its directors raise additional funds through events, donations, and continuing contributions from Tony and other entities. For more information, visit the Foundation’s Web site at You can also visit THF on facebook and Instagram @tonyhawkfoundation, and on Twitter @THF.


Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the Foundation that bears his name. The Foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2-billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson’s desire for the Foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information visit