What happens in Las Vegas on Nov. 7, when Tony Hawk and his cast of high-flying action sports stars begin to soar and spin on their skateboards and bikes, will leave families thoroughly entertained and feeling charitable.
The legendary skateboarder is bringing his personal vert ramp to the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel, with numerous celebrities in tow, for a benefit called "Tony Hawk: RIDE Presents Stand Up for Skateparks." Among athletes scheduled to perform are Bucky Lasek, Simon Tabron, Mat Hoffman, Andy MacDonald, Kevin Staab, Shaun White, Jamie Bestwick, Bob Burnquist, Ryan Sheckler and Dennis McCoy.
In its sixth year, but for the first time in Las Vegas, the gala will raise funds for the Tony Hawk Foundation's
national skatepark program. Hawk believes skateparks afford kids a healthy alternative to hanging out on the streets, and, as a millionaire entrepreneur who gained his fame and fortune through skateboarding, he should know. His foundation has awarded nearly $3 million to 448 communities that so far have opened 341 skateparks.
The benefit is a red-carpet affair expected to include such celebrities as Lance Armstrong, Andre Agassi, Elaine Wynn, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jamie Lee Curtis, Mia Hamm, Jon Favreau, Lorenzo Fertitta, Frank Fertitta III, Robin Greenspan, George Maloof, Andrew Pascal, Mat Hoffman, Shaun White, Robert Kotick and Ron Burkle. Rancid will provide the live music. [Updated 8:23 a.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified Frank Fertitta III as Frank Fertitta II.]
The benefit is pricey: Individual tickets are $350 and family packages range from $2,000 to $20,000. Guests will receive various goodies and the package prices include signed skateboard decks and, in some cases, a VIP reception with Hawk and other celebrities, and hotel accommodations.
The event also will include a pledge drive to fund improvements at
a specific skatepark in Las Vegas. Similar pledge drives have benefited
skateparks in Compton, New York City and the military community of
Tierrasanta in San Diego.
Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available on the Stand Up for Skateparks website or by calling C.C. Hafner at (760) 477-2479.
-- Pete Thomas
Photo: Tony Hawk spins his signature 900 while Fred Durst checks the action from the ramp earlier this month in Beverly Hills. Credit: Jody Morris