Tony Hawk’s annual benefit raises awareness and funding for skate parks

Pro skater Tony Hawk, auctions a one-of-a-kind 2014 Mini Cooper S Countryman, at his 11th Annual Stand Up for Skateparks Benefit on September 21 in a private home in Beverly Hills. Photo Credit: Silvia Gutierrez

Pro skater Tony Hawk, auctions a one-of-a-kind 2014 Mini Cooper S Countryman, at his 11th Annual Stand Up for Skateparks Benefit on September 21 in a private home in Beverly Hills. Photo Credit: Silvia Gutierrez

Silvia Gutierrez

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For over a decade, the Tony Hawk Foundation has made it their goal to help spread awareness and contribution to the skateboarding community in low income areas across the U.S. and overseas.

The main mission is to empower disadvantaged youths in the hopes of encouraging an active lifestyle.

This year, over 100 people were in attendance for the 11th Annual Stand Up for Skateparks Benefit, in support of the building and maintenance of skateparks.

“I noticed that the funding and the process of getting (skate) parks wasn’t something that was conducive to good parks or in areas where they’re really needed,” said Tony Hawk, event founder and professional skateboarder. “So I wanted to change that tide.”

For 13 years, the foundation has developed over 500 parks and provides services to more than 4 million kids annually. Hawk feels they are making their money go a long way.

“We’ve given away nearly $5 million,” Hawk said. “We actually have been able to leverage all of that money into over $110 million in other donations.”

Pro skater and TV host Corbin Harris said the best thing about the Tony Hawk Foundation is their work in “creating facilities for kids out there so they’re doing something constructive with their time … they’re on a BMX, they’re on a skateboard, they’re doing good things.”

By holding an annual benefit, the foundation has brought awareness to the cause, in addition to international outreach. Green Acres Estate, a beautiful and private home in Beverly Hills, housed the event this year with its spacious backyard, only open to donors.

“I can’t believe we’re in Beverly Hills! We’re skateboarders!” joked Hawk during the press conference, causing the crowd to erupt with laughter.

The benefit creates a family friendly zone by simulating a carnival where food, games, music, and freebies are available. This year, DJ Z-Trip entertained guests while they waited for a Vert Demo to be shown, starring skateboarders and BMX riders.

Pro skater Elliot Sloan said he looks forward to watching the demo each year. Among those in attendance were pro skaters Andy Macdonald, Rodney Mullen, Lizzie Armanto, Kevin Staab, and actors Chris Tucker, Verne Troyer and David Hasselhoff.

“It’s always great for somebody to have a foundation doing great things for kids, to get them outside to play and skateboard,” Chris Tucker said.