Skate group holds fundraiser to expand local DIY skate park

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A local skate group held a fundraiser at Hi Tone Cafe Saturday to expand a Do It Yourself skatepark in Midtown.

The Al Town Skateboard group, which manages a DIY skatepark on Evelyn Avenue and Roland, held the event to raise money to buy the materials to expand the skatepark.

Brock Berriel helped put the event together and says the skate park is all done by volunteers and that everything was put together by the community.

“Everything that we make goes directly back into the park for the culture, for the community,” Berriel said.

Despite some problems at the original venue, the owners at Hi Tone stepped up in a big way by offering to host the fundraiser a day before Saturday’s event.

Berriel says if it wasn’t for the group of people who showed up the event wouldn’t be happening.

Emilio Norman, a local artist at the event, says he came to support the community.

“For the skaters and the artists,” Norman said. “I love that it is all done by us. For us, by us.”

Luke Sexton, owner of the new VHS Memphis skate shop says he set up a booth to help support the DIY skatepark that reminds him of where he grew up skating.

Berriel says the current skatepark was started in 2010 after he and others couldn’t find anywhere worth skating.

“We got tired of skating stuff we didn’t want to skate and decided to start making stuff we wanted to skate,” Berriel said.

Berriel says half of the lot has been finished and they hope the fundraiser will help them move to phase two of the lot.