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Kickball Tournament To Benefit Skate Park

Teams will “Fight the good fight” to raise money for the new Jamestown Riverwalk Skatepark.

Starting at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at Larimer Park by U.S. Post Office in Russell, Pa., the “Lucha Libre” kickball tournament will be held to raise money for the skatepark that will be constructed in the city thanks to a $250,000 matching grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation, with the assistance of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

The tournament is hosted by the Skate Church 14701, which regularly meets at the skatepark inside The Gateway Center, located at 31 Water St., Jamestown.

Chip Phillips, Lucha Libre kickball tournament organizer, said the event’s origin of having a Mexican freestyle wrestling theme developed when a group of 18 from the Skate Church were going to participate in a 5K Zombie Run in Olean. However, the plans to participate in that event fell through, but not before colorful mask worn by Lucha Libre wrestlers were purchased and were going to be worn during the run.

“We were going to be Mexican wrestlers and ‘Fight the good fight,”’ he said. “I had all of these masks. Then someone said, ‘Lets do a kickball tournament’ and I said, ‘I’ve never head of Lucha Libre kickball tournament’ so I was like, ‘Let’s do that.”’

Phillips said a lot of momentum has been built up on social media and there is a lot of networking happening for the kickball tournament. He said it’s $35 to participate, which includes a T-shirt, along with food and drinks. All money raised will go toward the Jamestown Riverwalk Skatepark. All ages are welcome to participate. The double-elimination tournament will consist of teams of seven, with each game being played for three innings or the first team to score 21 runs. People who don’t have a team of seven are encouraged to attend because everybody will participate.

“Dress up as a luchador and play kickball,” Phillips said.

Sponsors include Jamestown Skate Products; Ci3 Sublimation; Mattocks Design; Busti Auto Parts; Farm Fresh Foods; Rudy’z Pizza; The Arbor Coffee House Cafe & Tea Room; Azteca Mexican Diner; and Thrivent.

Phillips said he is looking forward to the new skatepark in the city. Currently, Skate Church host its events at The Gateway Center, but he wants the group to visit other skating venues.

“I just want to show up with food and drinks and meet people and, through that, share the gospel,” he said. “It’s not a church service. We’re just getting to know people. We want to help out and serve.”

The tournament will be held rain or shine. For more information or to preregister, call 270-498-4875, email tsc14701@gmail.com or visit #luchalibrekickball on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

In January, Pete Scheira, owner of Jamestown Skate Products, with the assistance of Jamestown government officials, announced receiving the matching grant of up to $250,000, with a minimum of $50,000, for a new skateboard park in the city. The location of the new park will be along Jones and Gifford Avenue across from McCrea Point Park.

In order to receive the full grant, local fundraising efforts have been started, which includes all proceeds of Jamestown Skate Products T-shirts and hoodies going toward the park, Scheira said. Also, a new program called All Decks On Hand has been started where local artist paint designs on old skateboards or create items like shelves, with the sales from the program going toward the community fundraising initiative.

Since the announcement several grassroot fundraising efforts have been ongoing like the special events that happened June 21, which is national Go Skateboarding Day.

The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation has also started a special fund for the project. SK8 JTNY is the name of the donation fund. Those interested in donating can send a check to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, 418 Spring St., Jamestown, NY 14701. For more information, visit crcfonline.org.

In May, it was announced by Vince DeJoy, city development director, that $100,000 of federal Community Development Block Grant funding will go toward the park. Also, city officials have submitted a $100,000 consolidated funding application through the state Regional Economic Development Council program for the proposed skatepark.

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