Thursday, September 15, 2005
Kind of a Big Deal
The Michael Jordan of the skateboarding world was in town yesterday.
The word spread fast. Tony Hawk was here.Unlike actual rock stars, however, Hawk didn't come to collect our money -- he actually gave us some of his own.
The top name in skateboarding had brought an entourage of other professional extreme athletes, cameramen, and guys to hand out T-shirts, skateboards and bumper stickers to Fort Wayne.
It didn’t take long for the after-school crowd at Lawton Skate Park to spread the news that skateboarding’s hero was there with other big names such as Bam Margera and Mike Vallely. The fans came in droves.
Hawk’s visit was part of his American Wasteland Secret Skatepark Tour. Hawk and the other athletes travel around the nation visiting small towns that wouldn’t normally get to see them perform. The towns also all have great skate parks, coordinator Sean Tichenor said.
Fort Wayne is the biggest city on the tour, Tichenor said. But the mob scene that followed Hawk is the same as in any other community.
The Tony Hawk Foundation donated $25,000, the largest grant the foundation gives, to the city’s skate park project. Hawk told park organizers that he wouldn’t attend the 2004 grand opening but promised to stop by unannounced to try it.