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W’bago kids can catch some air with new skate ramps

By Staff | Jun 21, 2015

What happens when a couple of dedicated guys get to work and seek help from their community??

Just ask Ricky Paz who has been spending much of his time working to build a new skate park in Winnebago.

“The skate park project started about four years ago,”?Paz says.

The project was originally put in motion by Randy Olson, of Winnebago. He is a member of the Winnebago Legion Post 82 and they wanted to donate money toward a project which would benefit the youth.

And that’s how the idea for a skate park in Winnebago was born.

“Then the process sort of got prolonged and fell by the wayside,”?Paz explains.

So eventually Paz decided to get the ball rolling again.

“My son skateboards and he and his friends are getting close to driving age so I?thought it was important to get this project finished,”?he adds.

In July of last year, Paz was able to get a couple of ramps and a grind box from the park in Delavan.

Since then he has been working hard to gather donations and raise funds in order to improve on the current skate park.

Thanks to donations from businesses such as the Legion Post 82, Royer’s, Casey’s, State Farm, PR With Style, City of Winnebago, BENCO and Snap Graphics of Mapleton, the skate park now has four new ramps, a new grind box, a new jump and a new sign.

“We are so thankful for the contributions we’ve gotten,”?Paz says. “And for those who contributed to our fundraisers.”

If anyone is interested in donating to the skate park, donations can be brought to the Winnebago City Hall.

The original goal was to have a new location for the skate park, however, its current location seems to be working out just fine.

The skate park was built on half of the tennis courts located behind the swimming pool.

“It works out well since it’s by the pool. Then if kids are hanging out at the skate park, they can go swim at the pool afterwards. There is concessions there and restrooms nearby as well,”?Paz adds.

But, eventually they would like to continue to raise enough money and find a place just for the skate park.

In the meantime, it seems the local skateboarders are enjoying the park, especially with the new ramps.

“We ordered these ramps from a company out of California,”?Paz says. “They are sent to us and we assemble them.”

Paz worked on assembling the ramps and then the new additions to the skate park were hauled in last Friday.

“We were hoping to get it up and running for ‘Bago Fun Fest,”?he adds.

And that is just what they did. The new ramps are in place and the new sign is hung, making it officially open for the city festivities.

The previous ramps were taken out of the skate park for now. Paz plans to fix them up and then bring them back so the kids have even more to use in the park.

His goals for the Winnebago Skate Park do not end there. Paz says that there is still money left from the Legion’s donation to purchase other ramps for the park.

“The Legion gave us over half the money we raised,” Paz stated.

Olson, one of the original brains behind the project, explained that the Legion really supports this project.

“We support anything that will benefit the youth,” he adds. “We give scholarships, we do fundraisers, anything to help the kids.”

Although the original attempt to get the skate park project underway fell by the wayside for awhile, Olson and Paz are both glad to see it take off the way it has. And Paz says he would have started helping sooner if he would have known.

“I definitely would have helped a long time ago, instead of waiting four years,”?Paz adds.

And while they are a long way from being finished, the park is already serving its purpose in Winnebago. It is giving the kids a place to go to be active and to do something productive.