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Monday, March 19, 2018

Plans for Glendive skate park getting closer to reality (slideshow)

By Anthony Varriano

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

A quarter-million dollar project taken up by the Fitch Foundation way back in January 2008 is finally nearing its end, but funds are  still required to complete the project, according to Fitch Foundation vice president Karen Ballentine.

“This is for the kids in our community,” she said. “It’s been a labor of love.”

The Fitch Foundation took on Brett Fitch’s dream of building a skate park in Glendive as its inaugural project. Fitch was going door-to-door raising money for a skate park while in high school before losing his life in a car accident on Christmas Eve 2007. Now, more than six years later, his dream is close to becoming a reality.

The community will see the fruits of its labor in action on May 19, when Dreamland Skate Parks breaks ground on the new park. The projected completion date is some time in August.

The skate park will be located on a plot of land gifted to the foundation by the City of Glendive on the west end of Jaycee West Park.

“The City of Glendive has cooperated really well,” Ballentine said. “Gifting us the property there was really huge, and assisting with plumbing has been very helpful.”

The efforts of the city and its citizens have helped get the project off the ground, including donations by Fisher Sand and Gravel and Border Steel Recycling, but Ballentine said there is still a need for about $55,000 to pay for the park before the groundbreaking ceremony on May 19.

Ballentine expressed the difficulty in acquiring funds for a skate park, but hopes the Montana Skate Park Association will provide a $30,000 grant to go along with the $25,000 its already awarded the foundation.

Assuming the Montana Skate Park Association does award $30,000, it still leaves $25,000 that will have to be raised by the community, so the foundation’s members are out fundraising yet again. Raffle tickets are currently available and donation jars will be left at local businesses.

For more information on the foundation, visit www.fitchfoundationmt.org, or to donate contact foundation president Brenda Rose at 989-1206 or Karen Ballentine at 989-0409.

Reach Anthony Varriano at rrwriter@rangerreview.com.

Get the whole story in the April 6, 2014 issue of the Ranger-Review.
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