Arizona Lottery Partners with Skate After School and the City of Phoenix to establish Perry Park Skate Plaza, Helping Underserved Youth Get Active
PHOENIX— (June 28, 2022) — On Tuesday, June 28, 2022, the Arizona Lottery hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting event to celebrate the launch of the Perry Park Skate Plaza, in partnership with Skate After School and the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department. Hosted at Perry Park in Phoenix, the grand opening unveiled the park’s newest addition: a skate plaza. The Perry Park Skate Plaza is now open to the public.
Dedicated to giving back to the community and supporting Arizona’s economic and health and human services development, the Arizona Lottery has partnered with Skate After School, a Phoenix-based nonprofit that provides afterschool skateboarding instruction to underserved youth, to help establish the Perry Park Skate Plaza. As a part of the Arizona Lottery’s “Gives Back” program, more than $20,000 has been dedicated towards the development of the skate plaza to help transform Perry Park’s underutilized tennis courts into the new Perry Park Skate Plaza. The $20,000 Arizona Lottery “Gives Back” sponsorship also provided funding for the purchase and installation of ramps and obstacles.
The 12,500-square foot skateboarding plaza boasts 11 unique skateboarding features, including rails, ramps, curbs and ledges appropriate for all skill levels, including beginners.
In addition to developing the new Perry Park Skate Plaza, the Arizona Lottery’s “Gives Back” provided an additional sponsorship to supply Skate After School’s students with brand new helmets, new mobile skate ramps for the program, and four all-expenses paid trips to Woodward West summer camp in California, for a total contribution of $50,000.
The skate plaza is also a key component in the revitalization of Perry Park by the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department; it is the first piece of their $1.9 million renovation planned to help improve the park and its surrounding community.
Vital to improving the Perry Park neighborhood, the establishment of the Perry Park Skate Plaza sponsored by the Arizona Lottery, supports the Arizona Lottery’s mission by working to help Valley youth get active, stay in school, and learn valuable life skills in a safe and fun environment so they can continue to excel for years to come. The “Gives Back” sponsorship is aligned with Arizona Lottery’s longstanding commitment to supporting underserved communities and youth; Recognized as one of Arizona’s largest benefactors for health and human services, the Arizona Lottery has given $29,471,000 to health and human services organizations throughout the state. Every year, hundreds of millions of dollars from Arizona Lottery ticket sales go to programs and organizations doing good in four key areas: higher education, health and human services, environmental conservation, and economic and business development.
“We’re thrilled about the opening of this park, as Perry sits next to many of the schools we work with and there are just no skate facilities in the vicinity,” said Ryan Lay, Skate After School’s executive director. “Kids in our program end up taking the city bus multiple stops across town to access a skatepark. We’ve seen firsthand what a positive athletic outlet can do for kids and skateboarding is just one piece of the puzzle. This park will provide endless hours of fun for local kids and opportunities to build lasting friendships as they share many sessions together.”
Launched in 2012 as a small community project, Skate After School is now recognized as the Valley’s first and only afterschool program that focuses on skateboarding for 2nd through 6th grade students. The nonprofit provides weekly after-school programming to more than 240 underserved children across eight schools in the Phoenix-metro area in close vicinity of the new Perry Park Skate Plaza: Creighton Academy, Larry C. Kennedy Elementary, Crockett Elementary and Gateway Elementary. This new skate plaza will be the “headquarters” for these schools and its youth participating in Skate After School’s afterschool program and extracurricular club, providing a dedicated and supervised space to thrive and go after school.
“Studies show that afterschool programs such as Skate After School help keep kids safe, boost student success and help parents,” said John Gilliland, the public information officer for Arizona Lottery. “Supporting the community is at the heart of the Arizona Lottery. Skate After School has been working with kids in underserved communities and from disadvantaged populations for years, promoting healthy lifestyles and inspiring kids to excel physically and academically. The Arizona Lottery shares that mission and vision; and that’s a legacy that the Arizona Lottery wants to build upon for future generations of Arizona's children.”
As a part of Perry Park’s continued improvements, the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department is planning to renovate the restroom, update lighting, move the sport courts out of flood irrigation, remove and replace sport courts with new fitness stations, and install new site furniture and a new ramada.
“Parks are essential to community health, and this skate plaza will give kids and families in this community a safe place to skate and spend time together,” said Phoenix City Councilmember Carlos Garcia.
The new Perry Park Skate Plaza is located within Perry Park at 2700 N. 32nd St., Phoenix, AZ 85008.
About Skate After School:
Skate After School is a non-profit that’s been providing crucial after school programs to underserved youth in the Phoenix area for the past decade. With a team of trained volunteers and a mobile skatepark, Skate After School shows up every week to work with elementary school kids and provide unique mentorship opportunities and create lasting bonds.
About City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department:
Phoenix Parks and Recreation provides residents and visitors more than 41,000 acres of desert parks and mountain preserve land with more than 200 miles of trails; 185 parks; 32 community and recreation centers; eight golf courses; 29 pools where thousands cool off and learn to swim each summer; and classes, programs and sports leagues where kids and adults learn, stay active and have fun.