Fundraiser at Bustin Boards to benefit Jake's Skatepark at Rash Field

In memory of Jake Owen

Bustin Boards in South Baltimore is known for making and selling custom skateboards. And when the employees have a few minutes of down time, they can hit the ramps right in the shop. Its the kind of place Susan Yum knows her son Jake Owen would have loved.

"We got him a skateboard and he was very tenacious," she said. "He was about four years old and he fell a lot initially. But because he was so determined, he always got back up until he learned how to skateboard."

Owen never got the chance to become the next Tony Hawk. In 2011, a distracted driver slammed into the back of his family's car. His father, mother and sister all survived the crash. Owen did not survive.

His family turned their grief into action. In 2014, they helped get Jake's law passed, which stiffens the penalties for distracted drivers involved in serious or deadly accidents.

Now they are helping to raise money to build a skatepark, which will be part of the newly renovated Rash Field Park at the Inner Harbor. It will be named in memory of their son who loved to ride a skateboard.

"This is intended to be something for all ages," Yum said.

Among those lending their support is professional skateboarder Joey Jett. The 19-year-old spent the last year putting together a documentary on his career and wanted to debut 'The Dream: The Art of Skateboarding' at a fundraising event this Saturday for Jake's Skatepark at Bustin Boards.

"I thought it would be a great platform and benefit a lot of people if I had a premiere in his memory," Jett said.

There is a lot of excitement building about plans to put a skatepark at the Inner Harbor, especially among local skateboarders.

"Its going to be welcoming, just like the skateboard community," said Josh Dunn, community builder and marketing assistant at Bustin Boards. "Its going to encourage individuals, like Jake, young riders to come and learn the art and learn the skills they need to keep progressing."

Lauren Moloney Ford, director of special projects for Waterfront Partnership, says they've received a lot of positive feedback about adding the skatepark to Rash Field.

"Skateparks are great for skaters and they're also great for visitors who get to look at an activity they might not interact with on a daily basis," she said.

Moloney Ford says the hope is to begin construction next year.

The premiere of Joey Jett's documentary 'The Dream' is Saturday January 13 at Bustin Boards in South Baltimore. Tickets can be bought online until noon Friday and tickets will also be sold at the door. Click here for more information.

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