‘A Safe Place to Hang Out’

MILL CREEK — Some of the jumps, the skaters landed. On others, they hit the pavement.

They bounced right back up, though, and jumped again and again and again.

More than 100 people — about 20 competitive skateboarders, many more regular neighborhood kids on skateboards, parents and others — gathered Saturday at Gold Creek Community Church east of Mill Creek to celebrate the donation of skate ramps and rails to the church.

The oldest, most accomplished of the skaters, members of a team sponsored by BC Surf and Sport of Lynn­wood, did jumps over an old Toyota Tercel in the church’s parking lot to entertain the crowd. The church’s rock band, Volume, played.

“It’s awesome, absolutely awesome,” said church member Elizabeth Brousseau, whose son Tristan, 12, was among the kids who showed up.

“They brought all the things kids like: skateboards, music and Red Bull.”

Trevor Lee, the church’s youth pastor, organized the event and Uniqueness Skate of Shoreline donated the portable ramps and rails.

“The whole thing is giving kids a safe place to hang out, a safe place to be,” Lee said.

The 1,500-member church at 4326 148th St. SE previously had a skate park, but it had to be taken out when the church expanded, he said. The church has broken ground for another addition where a new skate park is planned, but the temporary equipment will have other advantages, Lee said.

“We can just throw it in the back of the truck and take it to a Safeway parking lot” or somewhere else and stage events, he said.

Uniqueness Skate is led by a husband-wife team, Azia and Heiress, neither who use a last name, who run a “traveling skate shop” and sponsor kids to skate at events. The couple also are musicians and record producers, they said.

Their team of five skaters at Saturday’s event, ranging in age from 12 to 16, was recruited from skate parks around south Snohomish County, Heiress said. Skaters from the Mukilteo YMCA skate park also were there.

The skaters were happy just to skate.

“It’s pretty sweet that they set it all up,” said skater Khori Bjork, 16, of Mill Creek, a member of the Uniqueness team.

Lee was happy with the turnout. Among the spectators at the event was Todd Claflin, 40, a member of another church.

“This is a good thing they’ve got going here,” he said.

He and his daughter are part of a close-knit community of skateboarders, Claflin said.

“We all just kind of hang out together.”

Reporter Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439 or sheets@heraldnet.com.

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