Peare Skate Park effort picks up speed
Tom Eastman May 28, 2018
Caren (Peare) Wiggin (left) and her mother, Anna Peare (right) of Conway are holding a car show at Tuckerman Brewing Co. in Conway June 2 in their ongoing efforts to raise funds for a skateboard park in memory of the late Kevin Peare, a skateboarding
CONWAY — Late skateboarding enthusiast Kevin Peare loved a good ride, so it’s only fitting that the Kevin Peare Memorial Skate Park group is planning a Wicked Rides Car Show fundraiser at Tuckerman Brewing Co. June 2.
The event is set to take place 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the brewery at 66 Hobbs St. in Conway Village.
Music will be performed by the band Unforgiven. Magic 104 will be on hand from 9 a.m.-noon. Local artist Carol Hanson will do face painting. T-shirts will be sold, courtesy of Delaney’s Hole in the Wall. Glass Graphics has donated trophies for first, second and third place in the car show. Judging will be by spectators who get to put donations in jars in front of each vehicle.
All the funds raised will go toward the effort to build a skateboard park in memory of Peare. Son of Anna and Carl Peare of Conway, and brother of Carlton Peare of Freedom and Caren (Peare) Wiggin of Center Conway, he sadly took his own life at age 31 on July 12, 2017.
For the past year, family and friends have been working to fulfill Kevin’s dream of a skateboard park through grants and fundraisers
“We need to raise about $400,000,” said Caren, in a joint interview with her mother May 21.
Said Anna: “Once we get a piece of land, we would be able to apply for up to a $25,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation. Once we get the land — at least an acre is what we need — the big money grants could start rolling in.”
The car show follows other fundraisers held over the past year.
“We had 27 kids ages 3-16 at our demonstrations at the Funergy event held at the North Conway Community Center earlier this month. Our guys suited up and taught kids, showing them the fundamentals of how to skateboard,” said Caren, who is executive director of the non-profit skate park organization, as well as a staffer at Camping World of Center Conway.
“Our goal is to hold a fundraiser a month with a goal of raising at least $200 each event,” said Caren, who said they have raised $15,000 so far.
They held a “Mom Prom” in Albany and a skateboard deck art exhibit and auction at the Conway Public Library, which raised $1,200.
Settlers Green donated $1,000. Other groups have made donations as well.
They are conducting a “penny war” fundraiser at Conway Elementary School, and have other events planned.
“We know how hard it is for everybody (financially), so we try and keep our fundraisers affordable, in keeping what Kevin did when he used to put jars around town,” said Caren.
In terms of a location for the park, they have looked at various sites, meeting with Conway Town Manager Tom Holmes, Town Engineer Paul DegliAngeli and Town Planner Tom Irving.
They are still hopeful that someone will step forward to aid their cause concerning land.
They have drawn up sketches, working with Artisan Skate Park Builders and Pillar Design Studios to create a replica of a plaza-style skate park in Madrid, Spain.
Kevin Peare had moved to Newington in 2014 and was working at Rockingham Electric and as a beer bartender at WHYM at the time of his death.
“He worked as a kid to bring a skate park to Conway,” said Caren. “This would keep his memory alive in a positive way. He wanted to give kids a place to go to skateboard.
“I would love to build the park and go and watch kids skateboard as it would be a wonderful way to connect with my brother as he was such a skateboarding advocate, and it would give so much to the kids of this community,” she said.
During his youth, Peare and friends created their own skate parks at a few private locations, but eventually, each had to be given up.
“He never had a place to go in town — he had to go to Rye or Burlington, Vt. Weirs Beach was the closest place — he and his friends would carpool when they were kids,” said Anna.
Added Caren, “He was a good kid. He was kind and sensitive. He would teach other kids how to skateboard.”
Many of his friends and family have stepped up to serve on the committee. They include Caren’s daughter, Kennett High student Stevie Peare, 15; sister-in-law Michelle Peare, married to Peare’s older brother Carlton of Freedom; Kerri McAllister of Fryeburg, Maine; Ty McCormack of Fryeburg; Erin Russell of Conway; Ben Simpson of Conway; Sarah Hoffman of Berlin; cousin Courtney Peare of Albany; Steven Lyle of North Conway; and Michel Rabideau of Brownfield, Maine. Honorary members are Kevin’s best friends Carlos Gomez, now of Hawaii, and Nick Alexander of Boston.
Fiscal agent for the non-profit group is the Mount Washington Preservation Association.
Donations can be made to: Kevin Peare Memorial Skate Park, P.O. Box 210, Conway 03818.
For more information, go to goskate4kev.com; find Kevin Peare Memorial Skate Park on Facebook; email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Anna Peare at (603) 986-6436.