The Commerce Journal

April 5, 2013

Skaters brave storm clouds to compete in SKATE event

By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — The Commerce Parks Foundation braved the threat of rain on March 30 to hold a SKATE Competition and fundraiser from 12 to 4 p.m. at the City Park.

The friendly competitions, held multiple times a year, help the organization identify local skaters and keep them involved in their efforts to build a concrete skatepark at Centennial Park in Commerce, while also raising money for the project.

According to Commerce Parks Foundation President Barbara Lenington, the competitions have attracted new skaters every time and the event draws skaters to Commerce from surrounding counties as far away as Dallas.

A dozen skaters competed on Saturday, with Justin Hall of Commerce winning the game of SKATE. Nick Martin of Dallas placed second.

Christian Pittsinger of Greenville was first in the Long Ollie competition, with Dylan Sparks of Commerce coming in second. Hall also won the High Ollie competition, and Hunter Lenington earned second place.

“Everyone had a good time and, as always the sportsmanship exhibited by the skaters was impressive,” Lenington said.

The band Casting Shadows, winners of this year’s Commerce Idol for 9-12 graders and who have been recently heard on Matt Mienke’s “Notably Texas” program on KETR, performed original music for the crowd.

The foundation cooked hot dogs for lunch and gave away prizes, with every skater and most spectators winning something, according to Lenington. Skaters also received an event t-shirt.

Caleb Jacks of Greenville and Robert Gierot of Dallas were judges for the competition.

Jacks is an art teacher and travels to skateparks across the state. Gierot is the owner of Wood Grain Innovations where he designs and markets a line of skate apparel. Gierot attends Texas A&M University-Commerce.

The event raised $900 for the skatepark project. Benson Brothers Wrecker Service, Trinity Lutheran Church, Organization of Future Entrepreneurs at A&M, NAACP, Country Cleaners, LULU’S Burgers, American Signs, MAINMAN Graphics, Pride Coffee and the Commerce Chamber of Commerce were all sponsors for the event.

Prizes were donated by Chili’s, McDonalds, Subway, Dr. James Conrad, A&M-Commerce Planetarium, Chase Bank, Zumiez, Wood Grain Innovations and Caleb Jacks. Rodney Key took care of the sound for the event, and Pi Kappa Alpha set up the event.

The Commerce Parks Foundation is dedicated to building a concrete, durable skatepark at Centennial Park in Commerce.

The foundation has been actively planning the park and collecting donations for two years, and has held numerous SKATE competition fundraisers at the City Park.

All donations are tax deductible as the Parks Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity.

For more information, call the Commerce Parks Foundation at 903-886-7697 or email them at