Evan Fiorito, son of Pastor Chris Fiorito at O’Connor FMC in Kakabeka Falls, ON, is a grade nine student with a love for skateboarding and a dream to build a skate park in the Township of Conmee.
Evan has been skateboarding for about three years. He and his friends would try to skate around town or in small local parks but the conditions weren’t good so he recruited his chauffeur/Dad to drive him and his friends 45 minutes to Thunder Bay’s Marina Park Skateboard/BMX Plaza – a 2,000 square metre waterfront space featuring world-class skateboarding terrain and a “Classic California” style pool bowl.
Evan and his friends wanted that kind of park locally so they decided to do something about it. They first needed to see how much interest there would be in a skate park for Conmee. A local business person showed them how to write a petition which they posted around town and with over 300 signatures they decided there was enough interest to take the idea to the Conmee council. The mayor and council were impressed with Evan’s pitch and the Conmee Skatepark Committee was born (of which he is a member.)
So why go to all this trouble? As Evan told me, “It’s a growing sport and a lot of kids from where I live wouldn’t really even be able to get into it because some of them can’t get into town. And it’s sad that there’s this great sport but there isn’t an opportunity for kids to participate.”
That was almost three years ago and Evan’s dream is a little over a year away from becoming reality. A site has been chosen, they are awaiting the final design from New Line Skateparks Inc., and they are getting serious about raising some money. With a $200,000 price tag the committee is looking at company sponsorship, personal donations and government grants. Evan is also thinking of fun ways to raise money like a dance or bake sale. An engineering company has already donated $8,000 in services and a local t-shirt company donated a bunch of shirts to help with the promotion of the skate park.
There are still lots of decisions and work ahead but Evan and his friends should be enjoying their new skate park in the summer of 2015. Three years is a long time to wait and I am impressed with Evan’s patience and stick-with-it-ness. I asked him about the journey so far, “It’s been interesting. I’ve learned a lot of life lessons and skills like speaking in front of people without being too shy. It’s been a pretty unique experience.”
If you would like to keep up with Evan’s dream you can follow along on Facebook: Getting-Conmee-a-SkateBMX-Park.