February 14, 2002 - Skate Board Dreamers

"Looks like fun! But these are kids with a mission. Have you seen the youngsters practicing on their skate boards around the Centroplex and wished they would just go somewhere else? Well, they would like to. And they're doing something about it, kids with a big dream -- and the grit to make it come true.

Just a bunch of young punks on the city streets and parking lots? They don't want to be there any more than you want them there. "We don't have anyplace to skate," says one of them, Max Miller, Jr. "We're building our own ramps and finding places to skate all over town." Austin Patureau adds, "We're tired of getting in trouble for skating where we want to skate, you know."

What Baton Rouge needs, they say, is a permanent place set aside for skating, skate-boarding and roller-blading. But they're still just a bunch of you punks! Really? Does this sound like the work of a young punk? "This summer we went to see Mike Foster," says Max. We went to the legislature and passed a bill." "We need, to put it simply, a safe place to go skate, develop our skills," Austin adds.

So they've been to the governor, they've been to the legislature, they've succeeded in changing the state law. Now they're working with BREC to build a permanent skate park. That will cost about $500,000, and these kids will raise about $100,000 of that.

They want you to know why they need it and what they plan to do with it, so Saturday morning, Feb. 16, at 10:00 they're going to put on a demonstration at Independence Park. Come watch, learn, ask questions, join in the crusade -- or just be entertained.