MOUNDRIDGE – Saturday and Sunday was the day of the fundraising garage sale to help bring a skate park to Moundridge next to the Moundridge Swimming Pool, and it went well.

Jennifer Richert, whose children are involved in the endeavor, said the garage sale went well, raising more money than expected.

“The response from the public was amazing,” she said.

Though final numbers of the amount raised were not yet available, Richert said things were looking good, especially considering initial estimates of the cost have increased due to the need of two more inches of concrete for the park’s base.

“I thought $500 to $700, but it looks like we did better,” Chris Richert said.

Richert said he was impressed how people gave in such a variety of fashions, including monetary donations and items for the sale.

“People would buy something and donate back,” he said.

In on instance, Richert said, someone bought a new pool table and then turned around and donated their old one to the sale right away.

Jennifer Richert said she was thankful for the way people gave.

“It all added up,” she said. “That’s cool.”

Items left after the sale ended on Sunday were donated to worthy causes, Richert said.

Clothing was given to Angels’ Attic, and Many Lewis of Cradle To Crayons came and picked up toys the daycare could utilize.

Richert said they even gave a deep freeze to a family that needed it.

“We tried to put everything we could back into the community,” she said.

But it wasn’t her idea to do it. It was the youth behind the skate park that made that decision, and the group has made another decision in the wake of the fundraiser.

They want to start a charitable, non-profit organization called SK8 4 A Cauz, which will continue to work for the skate park but also try to help the community any way they can.

One way they plan to continue to support the town is to hold the garage sale on an annual basis and give the proceeds to a needy cause every year. As seed for the next sale, which they hope to hold during the Moundridge City-Wide Garage Sales, all the knick-knacks left over will be kept for next year.

Children involved in the venture include Jordin Foth, Javin Foth, Chris Hurst, Kalob Hurst, Traci Richert, Taylor Richert, Krissinda Redding, Ashley Holler, Haden Gustason, Luc Scarlett, Tay Scarlett, Zaelynn Foth and Devin Williams.

Mike Richert is helping the group with the application for non-profit status.

Once the group achieves a non-profit status, Jennifer Richert said, they will be able to apply for a grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation to help build the skate park and continue the giving back to the community.

“It’s for communities that can’t afford skate parks,” Chris Richert said.

So is the skate park a done deal? Not yet, but Jennifer Richert said they are getting closer.

“We still have more to go,” she said.

However, the grant would be instrumental in brining a skaters’ paradise to Moundridge.

Part of getting the Tony Hawk grant is to show work has already been done toward achieving the goal, which the weekend’s fundraiser is a huge feather in their cap.

In 2003, Newton received a $5,000 grant from the Tony Hawk foundation, so Richert said they are hopeful they can be successful in applying for the grant as well. The deadline is Oct. 1.

“It’s a pretty neat organization,” she said.

Chris Richert said he has been talking with Newton about how the grant application process.

According to the Tony Hawk Foundation, there are 13 million skateboarders nationwide with only about 2,500 skate parks for them to ride on, and Richert said she hopes Moundridge can make that number increase to 2,501 at the very least.

During the Aug. 3 Moundridge City Council meeting, some of the youth involved in the project presented their plans to the council.

The council showed interest and support.

“They want to know firm numbers so they know how much they can help,” Chris Richert said.

During the two-day sale, there were 16 tables packed with goods for people to purchase, and if people couldn’t find something they wanted, Jennifer Richert said, many just made a donation. If they did buy something, many also told the group to “keep the change” owed from the purchase and payment.

Today the group will be presenting its plans to the Moundridge Lions Club.

The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at the Moundridge Senior Center.

The public is invited to attend.

Jennifer Richert said she couldn’t be happier with how things went.

“They had a humongous response from the community,” she said. “It was phenomenal. I was so impressed.”

Richert said she was also pleased with the work the children did.

“The kids were amazing,” she said. “They were little worker bees. I was really proud of them.”

Richert said she feels the project is building momentum and hopes it continues, and she said she thanks everyone for attending the garage sale and supporting the youth of Moundridge.

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