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Pemberton one step closer to skate park

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The first fundraiser held for the Pemberton Skateboard Park was a huge success, with more than 300 people attending a benefit concert and party at the Pemberton Community Centre last Saturday.

The event raised more than $4,200, which is more than the organizers expected. The goal is to break ground on the skate park this spring, and the money puts the skateboard park committee one step closer to making that happen.

"We’re pretty keen on this," said Wendy Hanson, who is heading the Pemberton Skateboard Society along with Jeff Clarke and David Russell. "We want this to happen this summer, at least to get it started."

They society estimates that it will cost approximately $130,000 to build a complete park, but hopes that a lot of that money will come in the form of grants.

"We’ve got about three or four grant applications out there, and that requires a lot of administrative work. We’ve got a lot of letters of support from the community, letters of intent, quotes from contractors…. We still need a letter of support from the RCMP, but the (Pemberton) village is behind us, so is the SLRD, and we’re talking to the PACs (Parent Advisory Committees). We’re getting our ducks in a row, so to speak."

Other fundraisers are also being planned, including a party with a silent auction in Whistler, an all-ages concert in Pemberton, donation jars, T-shirt sales, prize raffles and more.

"This is just the beginning, but it’s finally off the ground now and things are finally happening," said Hanson.

The society recently confirmed the land behind the library for the park, and Kevin Young of The Circle Skate and Snowboard Shop in Whistler has provided the society with a couple of designs to fit the area.

The society also recently earned its non-profit status, and can offer tax-receipts for donations. They have a bank account at the Scotiabank in Pemberton where people can make contributions.

The society thanked all the musicians who donated their time to the fundraiser, as well as all the volunteers that worked the bar and the door, and helped with the set-up and take-down. They also thank the high school for contributing the stage and the lights.

"The kids are going to have a skatepark, and it’s going to be because everybody helped us out," said Hanson.

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