By Hailey Blevins
A new skatepark is coming to the Boone Greenway in the near future. While dates haven’t been set for construction yet, the effort to raise funds has already begun. In February 2018, the Boone Town Council voted unanimously to approve the new skatepark site and a $25,000 budget to begin construction. The rest of the funds needed for the project, however, will come from public and private donations. A partnership between The Gamekeeper and Recess Skate and Snow is underway to raise money for the future Boone Greenway Skatepark.
On September 24, The Gamekeeper Restaurant will hold a tribute dinner and auction in honor of Anthony Bourdain’s legacy from 5 p.m. to roughly 9 p.m. From 5-7:30, a silent auction will take place. Around 7:30, a live auction for larger items and art pieces will begin.
Several local businesses and artists have generously donated auction items for the event. Hors d’oeuvres will be served throughout the night from recipes straight out of Bourdain’s cookbook, Les Halles. Tickets are $40 per person. Tickets can be purchased and donation inquiries can be made at 828-963-7400. The Gamekeeper will be splitting the proceeds from this night between two skateparks.
“We’re giving half to the skatepark and the other half to Ethiopian Skatepark,” Brown noted, going on to talk about the story behind their contribution to Ethiopian Skatepark, “There’s an episode on Netflix, Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown show, where he visits Ethiopia and he talks about this really cool skatepark and talks about how it’s a gathering place for youth in that community. So there’s this really neat skateboard element that comes into it.”
The owners of Recess have been good friends with the owners of Gamekeeper, Ken and Wendy, for a long time, and both families share an interest in skateboarding, acknowledging its significant presence in Boone.
J.P. Pardy, owner of Recess Skate and Snow, commented on their friendship, “We’ve been good friends with the family that owns Gamekeeper a long time, and they’re big supporters of skateboarding. Their son is an incredible skateboarder, so it kind of worked out great. They were talking about it and they wanted to do something to help that community push for it.”
And that’s where the goal for the skatepark comes in. “Our main goal is just to have a place where the community can come together and celebrate,” said Lacey Brown in an interview about Gamekeeper’s upcoming fundraiser. “Ken and Wendy and their son, Gus, are all really involved in skateboarding, and it’s something that they have a passion for in life, so it’s something they’re always looking to get involved with.”
“Anthony Bourdain served as an inspiration to Ken and Wendy when they were young chefs starting their career and getting into their restaurant business. They were really upset when they heard about his passing,” Brown said.
Pardy continued, “I think it’s something that the community needs 100%. It’s probably one of the most used facilities on a daily basis, I feel like, that we have.”
Recess is aiming to get started on the preparation work for the skatepark before winter starts, “We’re hoping to get the grading done and the land ready. Hopefully, next month we’re going to be starting on that, getting everything prepped then start working on it come spring. With the winter weather, we’re going to have to do a phase now and a phase then.”
Both Recess and Gamekeeper are looking forward to the busy weekend. “We’re really excited for this event, and we’re really looking forward to it because the more success we have in it the more we are able to give back to the community. And it’s something that Bourdain was involved in and supported,” Brown said.
“It should be a really fun week to help raise some money for the skatepark,” Pardy said.