The Tony Hawk Foundation is an organization that is geared towards providing youths with the resources to safely and legally hone their craft of skate boarding. In November of 2008, the entertainment elite and action sport pros met to raise money in the fifth annual Activision Presents Stand Up For Skate parks. During the event, the Tony Hawk Foundation raised well over one million dollars to provide quality skate parks for low-income communities in the US.
In attendance were Tony Hawk, Shaun White, Bucky Lasek, Kevin Staab, John Parker and Dennis McCoy, along with entertainment elite including David Spade, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kathy Ireland, Nomar Garciaparra, any many more. The event hosted an action sports carnival with live music and activities. The first fundraising effort was for a skate park in Hawk’s childhood neighborhood of Tierrasanta. The area’s youth have been working to create a skate park for two years before requesting assistance. For the park, over $78,000 dollars was raised.
The committee for the benefit included Tony Hawk, Mia Hamm, Shaun White, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jamie Lee Curtis, and a few others. Sponsors for the event included: Jeep, Six Flags, Birdhouse Skateboards and Activision. Funds that were raised will be used in part for distribution to communities via the fall 2008 skate park grants. 27 communities were announced to receive the grants in December. Among those chosen is a 16,000 square foot skate park in Columbia, South Carolina, the first skate park to qualify for the state.
Programs that are awarded grants from the Tony Hawk Foundation are ones which have worked with local governing bodies to get permits and permissions to build a skate park. These communities also work to raise the funds for the skate parks, demonstrating to the youth of the community the impact one can have in the community. Many local governing bodies are now realizing the benefit of skate parks for the youth and the community at large.
The Tony Hawk Foundation’s is to help the development of youths through support and empowerment. The foundation provides grants, special events and technical assistance to recreational programs that focused on the creation of skate parks in low income communities. There are thirteen million skateboarders in the US, and the foundation seeks to ensure they have skate parks available to them as safe places to legally practice and hone their craft. The result so far includes 256 skate parks since 2002 that caters to 2.3 million children, thanks to 2.3 million dollars in awarded grants.
Tony Hawk, who has retired from professional skate boarding, has seen success in the creation of the Tony Hawk Foundation. The athlete is also a founding member of Athletes for Hope, a charitable organization that was founded by athletes with the purpose of connecting athletes with philanthropic causes. Founding athletes include Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Lance Armstrong, Warrick Dunn, Jeff Gordon, Mia Hamm, Tony Hawk, Andrea Jaeger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, Alonzo Mourning, and Cal Ripken, Jr.