Tamaqua youth make a difference
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Justin Startzel, assocation president, places a large American flag on one of the skating equipment in preparation for Friday's event.
A group of motivated Tamaqua youth have come together over the past few months to transform a local community park in Tamaqua into something of which the entire community can be proud.
Justin Startzel, a 2009 Tamaqua graduate, has always spent time with friends at the park, located behind Boyer's in Tamaqua. Tired of seeing trash and vandalism at the park, Startzel started a self-motivated mission to transform it into a place the entire community can enjoy.
In the past, the littered park was remembered and known as a place for troublemakers and substance abusers. One of the first things Startzel did was create an association of dedicated volunteers with the same driven desire to improve the park.
The association, called the Tamaqua Area Willing and Skate Park Association, is comprised of persons mostly in their late teens.
Over the past few months, they have revitalized the park by painting, cleaning and weeding. They have also held numerous fundraisers to help with the improvement costs.
Now, through the combined efforts of the borough and the assocation, the park is seen as a family-friendly place where people of all ages can gather safely.
The association is also planning a large music event at the park and Tamaqua Community Center Friday to benefit future improvements, as well to help the family of Sabrina Hill, 17, who passed away Saturday in a vehicle accident in Walker Township.
DeZire Nightlife, which hosts dance parties and fundraisers, will perform at the Tamaqua Skate Park Friday night from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
In addition to the band's performance, the family event, co-sponsored by Monster Energy drinks, includes performances by four bicyclists, two skateboarders, a flame performance and more.
Free glow products will also be given away. In case of rain, the event will be held inside the Tamaqua Community Center, 223 Center St.
For more information about the event, visit the park on Facebook.
"This is event is going to be awesome." said Startzel.
"There is no reason to be bored this Friday!"