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In the News Index

Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Date: June 1, 2004
Byline: Earni Young

Grant to help LOVE Park get rolling?

DC Shoes gives $1M to skateboard group

Skateboard fans will take a big step towards reclaiming LOVE Park for their part-time use with the announcement today of a $1 million grant.

The grant from DC Shoes of Vista, Calif., to Friends of LOVE Park will help pay for maintenance and security of the Center City square that had become an international mecca for skateboarders.

At least it was before Mayor Street cracked down on illegal skateboarding in the square, at 15th and JFK Boulevard, two years ago.

Street even coughed up $1 million to rip up marble and granite fixtures and install new landscaping that discourages skateboarding.

But young enthusiasts of the X-treme sport kept on coming.

Andrew Hohns, a spokesman for the Friends of LOVE Park, said his group has been meeting with representatives from the city managing director's office since last October to create a plan that will allow skateboarders to share the park with other patrons.

The result is a 10-year financial plan that calls for the skateboard fans to raise $2.5 million in private donations.

DC Shoes, the largest U.S. manufacturer of skateboard shoes and apparel, is the first big corporate donor.

The grant is contingent upon the city agreeing to allow skateboarders to use the park after 3 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends, Hohns said.

Although there is no final agreement with the Street's administration, Hohns said the group hopes a deal will be reached after today's announcement.

City officials could not be reached for comment.

Hohns said the grant will be announced today at a news conference in LOVE Park. homepage

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