Skate park seeks donations to get over top

An early version for the Pendleton skate park nestles easily in space near Bob White Field. <i>Rendition contributed by the Pendleton Parks and Recreation Department</i>

The Pendleton Skatepark Committee hopes there are a few folks out there still interesting in giving before the end of the year.

The committee is working toward a $25,000 grant from the Ford Family Foundation, but to earn the money it needs about $11,000 in donations first.

If all that money came in, the project's coffers would swell beyond the $500,000 mark, which is the goal the committee aimed at for construction of the park at the western-most end of Bob White Field.

Deb Whittaker, special projects coordinator for the city of Pendleton, explained the foundation likes to be the organization that puts a community's project over the top.

"What they like to do is challenge a community to finish off the project," she said. "We're almost there."

The Ford Family Foundation is a non-profit foundation in Roseburg. That's where Kenneth Ford began the Roseburg Forest Products Co. in 1936. He grew the company into one of the largest family-owned wood products manufacturers in the United States.

Then in 1957 Kenneth and Hallie Ford established a foundation to give back to the timber communities of southwest Oregon. Now the Foundation manages initiatives and makes grants to public charities in small and mid-size communities in rural Oregon and Siskiyou County, Calif.

Whittaker added there still is time to give for those who may want deduct donations from this year's taxes.

Whittaker said the skate park continues to progress. The skatepark committee anticipates asking the city council in one of its January meetings to approve a contract with Dreamland Skateparks, the design-and-build firm a subcommittee recently selected to make the park.

The city council usually meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, but the first Tuesday in January falls on New Year's Day, so the council will meet Jan. 8 and again Jan. 15.

Then in February the committee and Dreamland will hold public meetings to solicit input on the skate park's design, something Dreamland has a reputation for doing.

The committee has yet to determine the dates for those meetings.

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