It was a beautiful, sunny Thursday for Sk8Shoes4Kids (Skate shoes for kids) foundation’s official ribbon cutting outside Black Russian Skateboard Shop. Sk8 Shoes 4 Kids is an organization that was started by Justin Evin in honour of his brother Josh to provide skateboard shoes and boards to kids that couldn’t otherwise afford them.
“The organization is in memory of Josh. We’re trying to do an avenue that Josh would’ve wanted to do and that’s reaching out to the kids and the underprivileged youth,” said Evin. “If you don’t ever have the chance to be a chance with a skateboard you might never know your talents. It gives kids an opportunity.”
Justin cut the ribbon surrounded by several sponsors, friends, and well-wishers. There were also several kids around using the skate ramp and enjoying hot dogs and pop that were sold by donation.
“It starts with the kids. They’re our future. The kids here are so cool,” said Justin. “It’s really fun for them. This is just another thing in Castlegar that’s keeping them out of trouble. There’s no trouble here. Everyone waits their turn to skate the ramp. They respect each other. They’re good kids.”
Both of Josh’s parents were present at the ribbon cutting and are pleased to see the legacy Justin has created for his brother with the Skate shoes project.
“When Josh was younger, about 14 or 15, he told me, ‘Mom, I’m going to have my own skate shop.’ I said, ‘Really, how are you going to do that and have a wife and kids and look after everybody.’ He said, ‘You watch, Mom, I’m going to do it’,” recalled Elaine Pottery, mother of Justin and Josh. “About four years ago he turned pro and I said to him, ‘Josh, don’t ever forget where you came from. You were a little boy one time and all those big boys looked after you and took you along on their skateboard tours. So don’t forget about the kids when you become big and famous.’ He said, ‘Mom, I won’t’ and here you go – skate shoes for kids. It’s all about the kids. That’s what Josh wanted.”
After helping out 15 youngsters in their first run, Sk8Shoes4Kids is hoping to get out another batch of shoes to kids who need them in the fall.
“I can’t remind people enough to donate some cash or time for this foundation and the rewards will be huge,” said Evin. “There’s nothing like giving these things to kids and the looks on their faces when they get a new board or a t-shirt or even a sticker. It changes their lives a little bit at a time.”