Editor: June Paul

Art Director: Andrew Tamminga

Tony Hawk Foundation awards The Portage Family Skate Park Project an early $5000 Challenge Grant!!!

Kyle Little received a call from Peter Whitley informing him that the Tony Hawk Foundation is very impressed with the efforts and momentum shown by the committee members and supporters of The Portage Family Skate Park Project since receiving our 501c3 Sponsorship from Kiwanis. " Because of that and because we want to encourage your team and help them not lose their momentum we are awarding you with a challenge grant of $5000."  The news caused a mixture of emotion from all of us and we can't thank all of you enough for your support and encouragement.  

Mayor Tierney, Shawn Murphy, Kiwanis, Rita, Margaret, Ken Manthey and Penny Kiefer have been especially encouraging and working closely with us!  Many thanks also to Jessica Fandrich and all the folks at General Engineering who are constantly helping and mentoring us through the grant processes.  Thanks also to Jen McCoy and The Portage Daily Register for their coverage.

We're looking forward to more challenges!  It gets everyone motivated and excited about reaching our goal.  The total cost of the project is $210,000.  As of today we have about $35,000. raised.  Our goal is to raise another $60,000 this winter so we can break ground next spring or early summer and get Phase 1 built! 

Together Everyone Achieves More!

Join the City of Portage, the Kiwanis and The Portage Family Skate Park Project and help us achieve more!





Everyone was busy at the Taste of Portage on August 24th.  We had a table set up on the corner by Market Square and had lots of visitors. Brooke set up with the help of Mariya and donated her beading sets of earrings and necklaces to help us!  On the other end of town Debbie was busy selling baked goods with the help of Jayda. At 2:00 pm there were skateboard demonstrations given on the street.  Brandon Hanson and Keegan were busy doing Ollie's. Little tots were given a chance to get on a skateboard with Todd helping. Smiles abounded throughout the weekend in spite of the heat.

Our 1st Annual Portage skateboard marathon is scheduled for  September 7th.  Todd Miller has been working closely with the city on planning this event and we are getting our skates wet for the first time.  Your support is appreciated!


 A Brief History of Skateboarding

From President: Kyle Little

In 1965, skateboarding's popularity suddenly crashed.  Most people assumed that skateboarding was a fad that had died out, like the hoola hoop.  Skateboard companies folded, and people who wanted to skate had to make their own skateboards again from scratch.

But people still skated, even though parts were hard to find and boards were home made.  Skaters were using clay wheels for their boards, which was extremely dangerous and hard to control.  But then in1972,Frank Nasworthyinvented urethane skateboard wheels, which are similar to what most skaters use today.  His company was called Cadillac Wheels, and the invention sparked new interest in skateboarding among surfers and other young people.

In the spring of 1975, skateboarding took an evolutionary boost toward the sport that we see today. In Del Mar, California a slalom and freestyle contest was held at the Ocean Festival. That day, the Zephyr team showed the world what skateboarding could be. They rode their boards like no one had in the public eye, low and smooth, and skateboarding was taken from being a hobby to something serious and exciting (Read more about the history of Dogtown and the Zephyr team).  The Zephyr team had many members, but the most famous are Tony Alva, Jay Adams and Stacy Peralta.

Why I'm Serving As Art Director of the Portage Family Skate Park Project - Andrew Tamminga


 Kyle Little and I grew up in the same small piece of rural suburbia about seven or so miles south of Portage.  We attended the same schools, knew many of the same people, and we experienced similar dissatisfaction with the Town of Portage's general attitude toward its youth.  When I was in junior high I took an interest in youth hockey.  Thanks to the determination of a few concerned adults we were able to put together a rag tag hockey arena.  We even acquired a second hand Zamboni that belched black smoke whenever we could get it running.  But after only two years, like the Zamboni, attempts to establish a youth hockey team in Portage had lost all steam.  I refused the option to play for the Dells and eventually my interest in the sport faded.  So, like many of the youth in Portage I had to find alternative ways to occupy my time.  Loitering, drugs and alcohol were the most available distractions.  There were a few attempts to establish places for the youth to congregate in Portage, but distrust of business owners, and an overall apathetic attitude by the rest of the community always led to their eventual closing.  By my junior year I had signed up for the Army, and couldn't wait to leave my home town.

I spent four years in the Army at Fr. Lewis Washington, and an additional five months in Iraq before my inevitable return to Portage.  I cam home at the beginning of a financial crises in America.  I worked many local jobs.  The only job I enjoyed was driving cab.  I drove cabs on the night shift mainly because it was more lucrative.  As a result I got to see a side of this town that very few people ever get to see.  My eventual disagreements with the way the cab company was run led me to be fired.

 From them on I would only work for customers.  I had to start my own business, so I used my GI bill to attend MATC Madison for a Small Business Entrepreneurship certificate, and moved further into Graphic Design.  I almost finished before money ran out.  I was contemplating small business ideas about a graphic design freelance company when Kyle called me one day needing a favor.  He needed me to make an ad, because he was having issues with some Graphic designers who had flaked out on him.  The project he was working on was the Portage Family Skate park project.  This was an opportunity to make a positive change in my home town.

It seems that my home town is suffering some kind of disease that is eating away at Historic Portage building by building. The first to go was the Bank downtown, I remember the day it burned down when I was about 8 give or take a year.  I remember it was December and the icicles were all over the place.  From the pristine hell, arose the Phoenix, a symbol that the downtown would never die. Many years later, the Old Hill Ford building - now an empty concrete eyesore, the Woolen Mills - now a grass field with no name, the Clough building - that started the Splash pad and Porage Family Skate Park Project, and finally the building on Cook Street right across from the Phoenix - now another nameless grass field. We need to creat places for new history to be made in Portage.  otherwise our city may dissolve to nothing.

Kyle and I both realize that to encourage change, projects like ours require foresight. That's why PFSP is not just a park, it's a community Skate Park Plaza.  The ultimate goal is to maintain the park, plan and coordinate events at the park and encourage surrounding business development.  Hopefully mine will be one of them.  - Andrew  

(Editors Comment:  With the good work you are doing on this committee Andrew I'm sure you'll have no problem with owning your business!)


Conversations with Mariya and Brooke

Neither Mariya nor Brooke skateboard, yet both are very supportive of The Portage Family Skate Park Project.  They are what I would call Jr. Volunteers. Mariya has been at many meetings and most every event.  "I've always enjoyed watching my dad skateboard. And maybe one day I will try it."  But that's not the only reason she is supportive . . . .

Brooke said "I think every child should have parks they enjoy.  If kids like skateboarding then they need a park and deserve one."  She enjoys arts and crafts and her grandmother from another state sends her beads.  She's been beading for 'a long time now' and she really enjoys it.  She's never taken lessons, she just learned on her own.  "I probably won't ever skateboard, I'm not really interested in it but I have a couple or a few friends who are and I want to help them."  The idea of using her talent for charity came from her mom and grandma. Brooke said, "I'm excited to be help and be part of this. Thank you for asking to talk with me!"  She left our conversation with a smile on her face and a skip in her step.

Mariya said, "I'm proud of my Dad.  He's the President of the Project and is working hard to make Portage a safe place for kids like he was.  He always liked skateboarding when he was a kid."  Mariya said she knows at least 12 or 13 kids that enjoy skateboarding and she wants them to have a park that they enjoy and will use.  "One that will be good for everyone"   - June Paul



Thank You Skater Bakers and Tasters!

We've had several Bake Sales and we'll be having more!  Many thanks to our volunteers and committee members Debbie Little, Jayda Strabel, Melissa Paul for putting these together, seeking donations, baking goods and working the events.

Brick Fundraiser!

Download yours today and help us build a skate park for tomorrow.


O'Brion Agency Donates


June Paul, Secretary of Portage Family Skate Park Project received a donation of $500 from the O’Brion Agency on Friday morning.

Thank you Paul and Mike for your generous donation of $500 which puts us that much closer to reaching the Tony Hawk Foundation Challenge Grant.

Thank You

to everyone who came out to have a good time at

The Taste of Portage

and supported

The Portage Family Skate Park Project


Make donations payable to: Kiwanis
Memo: Skate board park.
Mail to:
c/o Rita: Skateboard Park,
Prairie Flower Beads,
210 W Cook Street, Portage, WI 53901


We also are Paypal Verified! PayPal is the faster, safer way to Donate.

 An Interview with Brandon Hanson

Brandon Hanson from Wisconsin Dells is a pro amateur skateboarder sponsored by Elements Boardshop and PFSP.

He was in Portage for the Taste of Portage and eager to show us some of his skill and talent.  Brandon may be a pro amateur but he's still pretty humble about the sport.  He loves it and the smile on his face shows that - but he's worked hard at getting to where he is.  Brandon has been skateboarding for 10 years.  He's sponsored by Elements in Wisconsin Dells and when I asked him what it takes to get a sponsorship he said:  "You have to have a passion for skateboarding.  Don't get stressed about it, just put your whole heart into it and you'll succeed."  The smile on his face when he's skating and talking about skating sure reflects his passion and heart.   His family was 'without a doubt' always supportive of his passion and drove him all over the place to different skate parks, until he got his own drivers license.  While he wasn't active in other sports when he was in school he is now involved with track and field type sports, weightlifting, golf and bike riding.  And he has a full time job with Frito Lay. 

 I usually do allot of my own Trips to get Footage for Commercials, Montages, and Video Parts set up.  

While Brandon hasn't (yet) traveled around the world to skate, his videos have and he has made many friends from many other places who encourage him through social media. 

Brandon told me he was really looking forward to Shredding at the Taste of Portage and he did a good amount of that in the hour we had reserved.  But I did have to admit I'm still learning the Skateboard lingo and he had to tell me what shredding is.  I  had to laugh at the simplicity of his answer: "Shredding is Skateboarding itself, going all out at it."  At this point Brandon isn't sure if he's available to be at our first annual Skateboard Marathon but if nothing else is on his calendar he'll be here.

Thanks for chatting with me Brandon.  I'm sure we'll talk again!  Keep Shredding it Up! -   June Paul





"No child left inside"  Mayor William Tierney Portage, Wisconsin

What size is our Skate Park Going to Be?  Will it be Big Enough? Too Big?

Those are questions we've been hearing from some people.  Our Skate Park dimensions are sized out to be 75' by 110'  (The Splash Pad is 30 X 30) so the Skate Park is planned to be significantly larger.  We think it will be a great size for our community.

 Upcoming Events



September 7th - 1st Annual Skateboard Marathon. 

see our website for more details.

September 14th - Kids Day Culver's  10:00 am - 1:00 pm 100% of the proceeds go to the PFSP.

See our website for more details.