Within days of Fort Worth Weekly‘s cover story on skateboarders (“Pool Sharks,” Sept. 16, 2009), a reader e-mailed to say that she and several others in Arlington were lobbying to get a skateboarding park built there in honor of Cody Rocamontes, 14, who died on Aug. 7 after being hit by a car on the service road of I-20 on the way to skate. The reader wanted to see if the skaters named in the Weekly‘s story would join the effort.
Static put her in touch with Greg Stubbs, one of the “pool sharks,” and he passed the word to the others. The result: On Sept. 22, Stubbs and several other boarders went before the Arlington City Council to say they’d like to build a temporary skate park for the city, at no cost to taxpayers. It would stay in place until a permanent city-built park, already being planned and tentatively slated to open in 2011, is ready. Those in attendance said the council, dumbfounded by the offer, told Stubbs they would get in touch with him later with their response. That’s pretty cool. So the ball – or board – is in the city’court. (If you want to help, check out the group’s web site at www.codyrocamontesmemorialskatepark.com.)
Last year’s Best Of winner in the “Whippersnapper” category was then-10-year-old Alexa Sankary, who started a fund-raising walk to fight a horrendous and rare childhood cancer called neuroblastoma. Alexa’s efforts were the result of a promise to her friend Michael Mancuso, who died of the disease. In its first year, the Walk for Neuroblastoma, orchestrated by Alexa, her family, and her Girl Scout troop, raised a little under $20,000 for Cook Children’s Medical Center, money earmarked for neuroblastoma research and care for patients and families. This year’s spring walk raised almost double that amount. She was honored as the first “youth philanthropist” by the hospital at its annual donor appreciation dinner. “Youth philanthropist” is impressive … but we like “whippersnapper” better.