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Neighbors Halt Improvements To Skate Park Despite $10K Donation From Tony Hawk Foundation

MARYSVILLE (CBS13) — What happened to the $10,000 celebrity skateboarder Tony Hawk donated to a Marysville skatepark? A decade later, a local skateboarder was tired of spinning his wheels and decided to call Kurtis.

It's been a decade of big dreaming for Sly Espinoza. "We were stoked, we were so excited," Espinoza said. 

His idol, the number one skateboarder in the world, Tony Hawk, donated the money in 2010 to Miner's Skatepark in Marysville. In fact, Hawk's foundation has helped build skateparks in more than 600 communities across the country with $7.4 million in grants.

Espinoza drew up his own ideas to expand the Marysville park, but it hasn't changed one bit. He was tired of spinning his wheels and said no one would give him straight answers, including nonprofit Friday Night Live, which got the grant, the city council, and police department.

Swipe through some of Tony Hawk's skateparks!


"All I want is for them to man up and say something. Because no one's saying anything, they're just playing the blame game," Espinoza said. 

So CBS13 looked into where the money went and why it has not been used to improve the park.

City Councilman Bruce Buttacavoli said neighbors in the area are not thrilled with the expansion. Buttacavoli researched what happened to the $10,000 and learned Friday Night Live spent about $2,000 on the skatepark, but could not spend the rest.

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The city council stopped the expansion after neighbors complained. Buttacavoli said the city council needs to find ways to have the remaining $8,000 released for other projects.

The Tony Hawk Foundation said their policy is that the money must be used for a skatepark within two years, or given back. The councilman said there is little chance the money will go to the skatepark.

"It is the bureaucracy of the state and city, to take donations and do's unfortunate," Buttacavoli said. 

This was not the answer Espinoza wanted, saying a better skatepark could give Marysville's kids something to do.

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"People are going to feel like they have a purpose, and who knows it could be like, maybe the next Tony Hawk's here," Espinoza said. 

The Tony Hawk Foundation has now given Friday Night Live a late-May deadline to develop a plan to spend the money on the park or return it. The foundation said they went back to check on the park after the initial donation and were satisfying the money was used. It was not until CBS13's investigation, they realized the money was not used.

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