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Ellicottville Skatepark Committee schedules final in-person fundraiser

Wed, Oct 20th 2021 10:00 am

The Ellicottville Skatepark Committee (SK8EVL) is closing in on their deadline to raise as much funding as possible to apply towards a matching grant that will pave the way to building an outdoor concrete skatepark for the community.

Ellicottville is the recipient of theBuilt to Play” matching grant program through The Skatepark Project (TSP, formerly the Tony Hawk Foundation). Partnering with the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, TSPs Built to Play (BTP) grant offers qualifying western New York communities up to $250,000 in matching funds to apply towards the construction of a permanent concrete skatepark that will be open to the public and free to use.

With Ellicottville’s November 30 fundraising deadline quickly approaching, one final in-person event will give SK8EVL an opportunity to reach their goal, and it’s an event that combines skateboarding and art.

SKATE-of-the-ART, a skate deck art auction, is set to take place Saturday, November 6, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. at Fattey Beer Co. in Ellicottville. Skate-of-the-Art invited 50 artists to create one-of-a-kind works of art on blank skateboard decks, which will be auctioned off to the public in both live and silent auction formats. All money raised will go to the Ellicottville Skatepark Fund at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation.

“Skateboarding in itself is an art form, and the artwork you find on skate decks is a great platform for creative freedom expressed by the skater culture. Skateboards and art just go hand-in-hand, so we thought what better opportunity to showcase local artists and raise money at the same time,” said Brenda Perks, SK8EVL lead advocate. “When we put a call-out for artists to participate, not only did we get interest from the immediate area, but we had artists from across the U.S. hop onboard. We’re absolutely amazed at the support — and the art — that’s coming out of all of this!”

Artists from western New York, northern PA, Illinois, Florida, and even California have answered the call to show their support for a good cause. Ellicottville’s own Barbara Fox, Carey Welch, Lynn Timon, among others, will have boards up for bid on Nov. 6th.  Regional artists Sean Huntington, Michelle Capizzi, Chicago’s Katie Klimacek, La Mesa’s Zack Bryant, and former Buffalo Bills place kicker Steve Christie have all submitted knockout pieces as well.

“Kathleen Shay, an art teacher at Archbishop Walsh in Olean, did an amazing piece titled, ‘Scarlet Begonias by the Grateful Dead’ which is currently on display at Villaggio,” said Perks. “The first night it was there, we had someone interested in buying it on the spot. The quality of art that’s coming out of these artists is astounding! We’re expecting quite a few of them to go high.”

Perhaps the most sought after deck making its way into the event is “The Birdman” by Comic-Con artist and Ellicottville resident Shad Nowicki, depicting skateboard legend and The Skatepark Project founder, Tony Hawk. After completing his art deck, Nowicki’s “The Birdman” was carefully packaged and shipped out to TSP headquarters in California, where Tony Hawk himself is expected to sign and send it back in time for Skate-of-the-Art.

But skate decks aren’t the only art you’ll find when you enter the venue on Nov. 6. The SK8EVL committee has teamed up once again with Ellicottville Central School art instructor Debbie McGowan to include student participation.

“Deb and her students helped us out last year for our soup bowl fundraiser. Now, students are creating their own mini masterpieces on 8”x8” canvases, which will be displayed on a wall at the event,” said Perks. All ticket holders will be entered into the mini-canvas raffle; if your number is called, you get to go up to the canvas wall and choose the student art you want to take home.”

McGowan and her students are anticipating 60+ mini canvases to be available for the taking.

Other highlights of Skate-of-the-Art:

  • All ticket holders will be treated to complimentary appetizers donated by local restaurants Villaggio, Dina’s, EBC, Finnerty’s, and Tim & Bonnie’s.
  • All ticket holders 21 and older will receive a “one free beer” coupon, compliments of Fattey Beer Co.
  • All ticket holders will be entered into the Door Prize raffle, which includes a Salomon Huck Knife Pro 155 snowboard donated by Snowflake/245 Board Shop, and a signed Tony Hawk poster, among other things.

“Once again, this community (and beyond) has stepped up to the plate to show their dedication to Ellicottville and to the youth of our area,” said Perks. “Skateboarding provides a lot of benefits both physically and mentally, and it has a way of bringing people together, as is apparent with this fundraiser. We are so thankful for the businesses, the artists, and our school for their willingness to be a part of this event.  It’s our last live event before our deadline, and we want it to be great!”

Not only will the Ellicottville Skatepark project benefit from this event, but quite a few artists have expressed the benefits to them as a result of participating. Darcie Rosinksi of Buffalo, shared that she hasn’t picked up a paint brush or marker in quite some time, and this opportunity has renewed her love for art.

Skate-of-the-Art will include both live and silent auctions, and will feature the tag team duo of Brooks LeFeber Auctions and emcee Pat Morgan - two names that are no strangers to the Ellicottville scene.

Tickets to Skate-of-the-Art are $10 each and can be purchased in advance in-person at ellicottvilleNOW/PandaGoat Media, 9 W. Washington Street (across the hall from the Ellicottville Chamber), through any SK8EVL committee member, or Venmo (@Ellicottville-Skatepark). Additional questions can be directed to Brenda Perks at 716-244-7573. Follow @sk8evl on Instagram/Facebook for a sneak peek at art decks that will be available for bid.

The Ellicottville Skatepark, to be located inside Ellicottvilles Village Park, will be available to the public at no charge upon completion. Construction is expected to begin next spring. Learn more about the Ellicottville Skatepark project and how you can contribute at sk8evl.com.


Established in 1994, the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email [email protected], or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).