Thursday, September 06, 2007

Skate Plaza On The Roll

It's been awhile since I've written anything new about the skate plaza project, but last night was just so damned cool that I don't have a choice but to share it.

As (most of) you know already, my son Austin is leading a large project to build a world-class skateboard plaza here in St. Cloud. You can check out all the details here.

By all estimates, the total cost of this project will most likely exceed one million dollars, which is a ton of money for any organization to raise. However, our Mayor has recently committed to approving the construction of the plaza in 2008 if we can raise $250,000 by the end of this year, with the balance to be paid over the next several years. To that end, Austin has been writing letters and grants, and meeting with business presidents, CEOs and civic organizations nonstop for the last 6 months in an effort to secure this amount in pledges or donations by December 31st.

Then, just last week he received this email from the local branch of our Optimist Club:

"Hi Austin,

I have some great news for you today.

The St. Cloud Morning Optimist Club has approved a commitment of $50,000.00 total to be paid over the next five years. This will be offered as a challenge grant where we will match other contributors dollar for dollar up to the $50,000 commitment..."

The letter goes on to describe how he envisioned the presentation of the award so as to inspire other businesses to step up to the challenge and make their own donations as well.

Here is Austin receiving the check last night.

Needless to say he's been on cloud 9 all week, and last night was a major, giant, HUGE step toward his dream come true. By nature of the challenge grant, this means that if other people donate $50,000, the Optimist Club will match the $50,000 themselves for a total of $100,000 - better than a 3rd of the way to construction!

And if that wasn't exciting enough for the young man, he was also elected Vice Chairman of the Park and Recreation Board at the end of the last session. That's a pretty big honor but normally doesn't require much additional duty. Unless of course the Chairman can't make it to a board meeting - in which case the Vice Chair has to run the show.

Uh... guess who was in charge last night?

rockin the house


Anonymous said...

You either have a very small son or that's a very large hammer.

Well done to all concerned.

Anonymous said...

Way to go,Austin! You rock. Some kids might have gotton bored with a project this size--but not you! You just keep doing an awsome job. Congratulations!

Hey Jeff, how does a parent discipline the head of the parks and rec dept??!!

Anyway, it's so nice to have happy news--especially this week. Thanks. Way to go...Cindy

Heather said...

That is very very cool.

Gale said...

I predict great things in Austin's future. What a great kid!!! I am so pleased to see Austin's persistance in this project. Way to go dad!!

bon bon said...

that is seriously awesome! seems like a determined young man! best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Saint Cloud sure is getting a lot of good press, thanks to Austin and the Mayor.

yoo hoo said...

It almost makes me want to skateboard, but that would be too freakin funny and not in a good way!

Whit said...

That's great. Good for him.

Unknown said...

Very cool! Congrats to your son!

wayabetty said...

Austin for president!!!!!!!!! And what a cutie pie he is too!!!!!!!

Jess Riley said...

Oh my god, look at that gavel.

If Austin ever wants a job grant writing, let me know. What a bright, fantastic kid!! :-)

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Austin says thanks to all of you!

Jess - Actually, Austin would like help with grant writing. If you know of anyone who wants to help - and earn a ton of money on commission, let ME know!

robkroese said...

That is cool. We have a pretty decent skate park (from what I know about such thing, which is basically nothing) in our town. The kids dig it.

My word veri word is wwsith.

It that like Darth Vader's website or something?

Jenn said...

If that's the gavel, his name plate must be about 5 feet long. (duuuuude)

Good for Austin, that's very impressive!!

Anonymous said...

wow. seriously, that's just WOW.

what a fantastic accomplishment for one so young! heck, i know folks several times older that your handsome son who've never come close to realizing their dream. you have every reason to be proud, and so does he! well done, Austin!!

MY veri is "geojytz", which is the same thing George Jetson had on his personalized license plate.