The Great Skate Giveaway returns

By Alberto Gilman
Posted 6/12/24

The City of Newburgh Skatepark on Saturday, June 8 welcomed Newburgh kids, teens and families for a day of skateboarding and fun family activities at the Great Skate Giveaway. The giveaway in 2024 …

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The Great Skate Giveaway returns


The City of Newburgh Skatepark on Saturday, June 8 welcomed Newburgh kids, teens and families for a day of skateboarding and fun family activities at the Great Skate Giveaway. The giveaway in 2024 marks its third year in the Newburgh community.

The Great Skate Giveaway was a collaborative effort between local Newburgh organizations Keep It Moving and Hacienda Skate Shop and Keaton’s Kids of Cold Spring. It was a free event where children from Newburgh and the greater local area came and picked up a free built skateboard, new helmets and new gear to use when skateboarding.

The morning of the event, kids with their parents first signed in, getting a nametag before heading over to the distribution booth where Matthew Boyea, owner of Hacienda Skate Shop, stood and assisted with recommendations for kids on board sizes and styles. The provided boards were all built and ready to ride, with a variety of colors and designs from various skateboard brands.

While novice riders tested out their boards and adjusted their helmets and gear, local skaters came out and took to the rails and ramps, performing ollies or grinding their boards. Experienced skateboarders offered lessons to the novices who needed it and in other parts of the park, riders encouraged each other or checked on each other.

Boyea’s business, Hacienda Skate Shop, is located at 136 Lake Street, Suite 2 and caters to the local skateboarding community that frequents the park. He has been active in Newburgh since August 2021 and carries a variety of skateboard gear and equipment through his own shop brand or other local/semi-local brands in the area.

Keep It Moving, founded by Lauren Mandel is an opioid prevention program whose mission is to provide life affirming activities for kids. The program was created to honor Zane, Mandel’s son who was an avid skateboard enthusiast and social work graduate. At the age of 22, he passed away from a fentanyl overdose. Keep It Moving honors Zane and provides those in the community the education and tools for overdose prevention.

Keaton’s Kid’s, founded by Cat Guthrie and her partner Kevin Spath, was created to honor and remember the life of Cuthrie’s son Keaton who was also into skateboarding and other outdoor activities. He was also a service minded individual who died in 2018 while surfing in California.

Mandel said she was feeling elated as she saw the event taking place on Saturday morning. “It’s exciting to see new kids come. The event is a little bigger,” said Mandel. “The skate event is a way just to introduce some kids to skating and give them access to something that they don’t have access to.”

At the event this year, it featured organizations such as Team Newburgh and activities like face painting. Hot dogs and snacks were available for kids and families to enjoy during the sunny afternoon mixed with periods of overcast and breezes.

Parents like Daniel Smith were grateful for a community event like the Great Skate Giveaway mainly because it provides the youth a place to come together and learn from one another through skateboarding.

“I used to skateboard when I was younger, a long time ago, and this is their first foray into skating and boarding. I just always enjoy any opportunity for the kids to get out and have a good time,” said Smith.

Among the many novices and veteran riders, Cesar Suazo diligently worked on his board, making sure that his board bearings were secure. “It feels nice seeing how people can be out here helping others,” said Suazo. “It really makes me happy how the city thought of making a park over here for those children who really want to skate and all that.”

During the course of the afternoon, the Great Skate Giveaway gave away 115 boards and helmets, and as the day went on, more and more skaters came to the park to enjoy a day out with one another.