Money rolls in to build concrete wave

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Holmes Beach Mayor Judy Titsworth, second from left, and Police Chief Bill Tokajer, raise skateboards high in a cheer for reaching the skate bowl goal with code compliance supervisor JT Thomas and former Commissioner David Zaccagnino Nov. 8 at the site of the future skate park on city field, 5801 Marina Drive. Islander Photo: ChrisAnn Silver Esformes

“Holmes Beach reached its goal to fund the bowl!” Mayor Judy Titsworth said Nov. 8, regarding a last-minute push for donors to build a skate bowl.

The skate bowl and a new skate park are in the works for the city field recreation area adjacent to city hall, 5801 Marina Drive.

The commission approved the skate park in February, at a cost not to exceed $150,000 and with an option to include the skate bowl if $100,000 could be raised from grants or donations.

Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer and others with the city kicked off a fundraiser as the Nov. 8 deadline approached to raise $100,000 for the bowl.

With about 40 donations, ranging from cash to construction materials to giveaways for donors, the community met the goal to fund the bowl just in time.

“It was an amazing response from the community — as soon as we put it out there that we were looking for funds, people started calling and wanting to donate,” Tokajer said.

The city had been seeking funds for the bowl for about eight months, but the big push came the week of Nov. 4.

“It makes me happy that the community is coming together for such an instrumental park for the kids,” the chief said.

Former Commissioner David Zaccagnino — parent to potential young skaters — said Nov. 8 that the bowl is integral to the skate park.

“A good way to understand it is that it would be like having a playground without a slide,” he said. “You need to have that bowl component.”

The Y-shaped skate bowl — called a concrete wave in the surfing culture — will resemble a custom-built swimming pool, about 4 feet deep, but, at 800 square feet, bigger than the average family pool.

Tokajer said people have remarked that they miss the skate park since it closed to make way for park construction in 2017, but the new park will exceed the amenities of the old one.

The old skate park, named for the late Holmes Beach Police Officer Pete Lannon, was built in 2003.

“We get people all the time that say they brought their kids here on vacation because they heard about the skate park and miss the old one,” the chief said. “Our old skate park was nothing compared with this new, state-of-the-art park.”

Titsworth said she was “stoked” to see the enthusiasm of the community to support the skate bowl.

“We all need to give ourselves a pat on the back,” she said, adding that she hasn’t seen the community so excited in a long time.

“Holmes Beach loves our kids.”

Funding and pledges for the skate bowl as of Nov. 8:
A&K Enterprises
Agnelli Pools and Construction
Anna Maria Island Vacation Association
AMI Locals/Bali Hai condominiums
AMI Vacation/Joe Varner
AMI Accommodations
Beach Bums
Blue Marlin restaurant
Bowes Imaging
Hayes Bystrom
Mary Catherine
Rick Cloutier
George DeSear
D.Coy Ducks Bar & Grill
Eat Here
FP Growth Partners
Dan Hardy
HBPD Chief Bill Tokajer
Holmes-Holiday Family
Rick Hurst
Island Animal Clinic
Island Beach Cafe
Island Real Estate
Jessie’s Island Store
Bonner Joy
Greg Kerchner
Lizzie Lu’s Island Retreat
Logan Bystrom Fishing
Mason Martin Homes
Mike Norman Realty
New Concepts Sleep
Jeff Podobnik
Ross Built Custom Homes
Kim Rash
John Rutherford
Sato Real Estate
Mary and Patrick Sheridan
Sherwin Williams
Shoreline Builders
Waste Pro
West Coast Surf Shop

Donations of materials and services were pledged by:
Eat Here
Freckled Fin Irish Pub
Tyler Lancaster
Tom Sanger/ Sanger Pools

Total cash pledges and donations: $104,052.90.
Total in-kind donations: $43,094.