Greg Zaller: Condon Park skating night a success
November 1, 2017
More than a hundred enthusiastic youth participated Sunday night in an evening of skating at the Condon Park Skate Park.
Event organizer Laurie Fanara, a homeless mother who also skates, said, "The point of having this event was to give the kids an option in the evening to skate and have a good time in a safe environment. It was also to show the community that with their help we can have a safe evening location for kids to skate and stay out of trouble. Skating should not be a crime."
Laurie, who also has a son at Nevada Union High School, has a soft spot for the area youth.
"My son and this is my whole life," she said. "I don't have anything else to give. I have seen what is hurting our kids and I want to make a difference for the kids who want to skate and be in good company."
John Foster, past Grass Valley police chief and current candidate for Nevada County Sheriff, attended spending his time making connections with the skaters.
"Tonight was an amazing family event to support the need for skateboarding in the evening," Foster said.
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It wasn't easy for Laurie to raise the money for insurance and to rent the lights. Laurie lives in her car and supports herself without government assistance by working small jobs. When Laurie isn't working, skating or caring for her son, she is passing out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches she makes for the youth.
Grass Valley City Manager Tim Kiser helped to make the event possible.
"Laurie put together this event for the youth of the community and is working for them to find ways to have healthy activities," Kiser said. "She did a great job."
Al Florez, who maintains Condon Park, worked with Laurie during his off hours helping with logistics.
"The skate park gives the youth somewhere to go and stay out of trouble," he said.
Laurie wants to thank everyone that helped make her dream become a reality.
"Thanks to Coliving Network," she said, "SPD Market, HBE Rentals (and Ted), Foggy Mountain Music, Jeff and Anessa, Jeff, Amanda and Isaiah, Word Alive Church, John Foster, Tim Kiser, and Good Times for building this park in the first place. I want to thank Al Florez especially; he had my back since the beginning."
The next steps for Laurie are to get permanent approval from the Grass Valley City Council to open the skating park at night and to raise money for lighting. Supporters can make a Paypal donation to Laurie's lighting fund at CoLivingNetwork.org, or make contact with her to offer other support.
Greg Zaller lives in Nevada City.