Dalin Walker, 8, left, and Curtis Nakoney, 9, at the Big Brothers and Big Sisters inaugural Skate-a-Thon at Kristopher Campbell Memorial Skateboard Plaza on Saturday. (JAMES O'CONNOR/BRANDON SUN)
Hundreds of people gathered for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters fundraising Skate-A-Thon at the Kristopher Campbell Memorial Skateboard Plaza on Saturday afternoon. Event organizers referred to it as a kick-off event for other events that will happen later in the year as part of their 40th anniversary celebration.
Brandon Pretty, 19, has been a big brother for one year and was at the event with his little brother Curtis Nakoney.
"It’s fun taking him out and doing some of the things that I used to do when I was a kid and it feels good to do something nice for these kids — it’s a good experience," Pretty said.
Nakoney was determined to win the BMX bike which was to be rewarded to the best participant in the Skate-A-Thon. However, he didn’t want to talk about the bike because he didn’t want to "jinx it."
Pretty was also giving skateboarding demonstrations along with a team of skaters based out of Senate Skate Shop in Brandon.
Jordan Ross of Brandon is one of the owners of Senate Skate Shop, which helped to sponsor the event. He said most of the fundraising their shop has done has been for the skate plaza and to help grow skate culture in Brandon, so he is thrilled they are able to use the skate community to help other worthwhile causes in Brandon.
"We wanted to show the kids that they could get involved in the community in a different way and still have a great day doing what they love to do," Ross said.
Lynne Moor Mulligan of Brandon brought her son Cole, 6, and daughter Brie, 7, to the event. Moor Mulligan teaches high school in Brandon and came to the event to watch some of her students who were helping in the demonstrations.
"It’s amazing the level of etiquette and manners the kids show each other here," said Moor Mulligan.
Ross said everyone usually gets along in the skate plaza and that it is a self-regulated community. "Everyone looks out for each other, and the older guys look out for the younger guys," Ross said
The event included seven bands that played for burgers and cola, including The Viral Pearl, Torn From Flames, Asrocoven, Less Than Gone, Chaotic Animosity Akidemic, On This Day and KGB.
Don’s Photo donated a camera for the participant who collected the most pledges.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 25, 2012