Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Derek Snider remembered at Lundbreck Skate Park plaque unveiling

Derek Snider at Lundbreck Skate Park (contributed photo)

  • Derek Snider memorial plaque unveiled
  • Terry Snider speaks to MD council about Lundbreck Skate Park
  • Taras Panchyshyn, in memory of Derek Snider

Chris Davis - On Saturday afternoon June 10 a sizeable crowd gathered at the Lundbreck Skate Board Park in Patton Park to participate in the unveiling of the new plaque in memory of Derek "Harold" Snider, who passed away suddenly on June 17, 2016 at the age of 23. Derek's parents John and Terry were present, as was his brother Dustin and many friends, including his best friend Taras Panchyshyn.  Also present were members of the area's skateboarding and snowboarding communities, MD of Pincher Creek Deputy Reeve Terry Yagos, many Lundbreck citizens, and other dignitaries.. Lundbreck Citizen's Council President Kimberly Hurst hosted the ceremony. "It's been a long time, so we're happy its happening," said Hurst as she presented the family with the plaque, which will be mounted at the park once some protective measures can be included. "We are very honoured and we are feeling very blessed to have to have you all here, and that everyone loves our son and our family so much," said Derek's mother Terry.

"To be honest, I think a lot of us were jealous of just how dang good he was.  It looked so fun and easy when it came out of him, whatever it was." - Taras Panchyshyn
Terry, Dustin, and John Snider receive plaque from Kimberly Hurst
    Memorial plaque
    The Snider family were key players behind the initiative to create the skate park in the first place. Terry explained to the crowd that in 2004/5 local kids were skateboarding in the hamlet's streets, and the area that is now the skate park was a cement pad used for hockey. "We needed safety for our kids... We raised $104,000 for this park."

    "We do now have a secure place for our kids, and a future generation of kids."

    Terry said maintenance of the park will require an ongoing effort "So, if we can pull together as a big family, we can make this a better place."

    "It's' not our park," said Terry, indicating she meant the small group of family and friends around her, "It's our park," she said, expanding the circle of her arms to indicate the whole community.

    Terry Snider speaks to MD council about Lundbreck Skate Park

    Terry Snider appeared as a delegation before council for the MD of Pincher Creek No. 9 on June 13 to advocate for the continued support for the skate park.  Here is the Terry Snider's letter to council in its entirety:

    As a parent and community member of Lundbreck since 1988, I would like the opportunity to speak with the MD Council to provide some background history of the development of the Skate Park. It is extremely important that you are aware of the past, present and future support and recommendations for the Skate Park.

    When our boys were growing up in the early 2000s they were building makeshift ramps on the streets and at the undeveloped park in Patton. The community children were skating and riding any cement pad and ditches they could find in Lundbreck. It was a safety concern as the Hamlet of Lundbreck is very transit community. After a serious injury with our son Derek, the Snider family took it upon them self to do a community survey, we as parents explored other parks through out Alberta with a group of children from the community. Letting them ride other parks to see what best suited the children for Lundbreck.

    After several fundraisers, community letters and grant writing, we contracted Francis Skate Parks in 2005 and built the park for $104,,000.00 over a 2-year period. Without the support from the MD of Pincher Creek, Community lnitiatives Program, Lethbridge Foundation. Allied Arts, Shell, volunteers and various local businesses we would not have been able to have a safe place for our children to ride.

    My boys and many others continued to ride the park into adulthood, their passion and commitment to this park has been a proven dedication of love for skateboarding and BMX biking.

    Lundbreck Citizens council approached us after our youngest son Derek passed away suddenly in 2016, they wanted to acknowledge Derek's passion for the skate board Park by presenting us with a plaque that will be hung at the park on June. 10th, 2017 @ lpm.

    The Snider's dedication & determination to build & maintain the park for the safety of the children in our community of Lundbreck goes beyond that now as we want to help preserve and enhance this park to its potential in memory of our son.

    I have spoke to (Lubdreck's) citizen's council and the recreation committee who are willling to support the Sniders and volunteers. Unfortunately, the skate season is short and the recreation committee are focusing on the dugouts, sprinkler system and playground area. So, it leaves the park to sit another year without any TLC. So, the Sniders and some volunteers are willing to be proactive and do some work on the park this summer.

    Recently we became aware of a community members concern for the skate park and we would like to respond to these concerns.

    • Park season needs to be open from March to October, 8am to llpm.
    • Fences need repair - my brother (Todd Vance, owner and operator of Grassy Butte Environmental) is willing to come in and fix the fences for us. He will give us ideas of how to deter the kids from climbing through and look at whether additional fencing is required.
    • I truly don't think this will be a problem if the park season and hours are extended.
    • Being a public park next to a residential area will always have some disgruntled community members so there must be a compromise.
    • I suspect the sign was defaced due to the skaters being annoyed about the park always being closed before curfew. Noise and curfew bylaws are 11pm and the park has been closing at 10pm or earlier. Sometimes the park is not open at all. Signs and rules need some changes and redone.
    • Suggestion would be to have the MD maintenance open the park at 8 am. Then finding 2 alternative families who live in Lundbreck who would be willing to share responsibility of closing the park at 11pm - when curfew and noise by laws take affect. Possibly taking turns by weekly. Would need 2 sets of keys for this and to be consistent. In lue an honorarium could be given as a thank you similar to what has been done in the past. (with the MD providing $500.00 for the year) 
    • Feedback and observation from assessing other skate parks in Alberta
    • There are not very many parks that are locked at night, the Town just turns the lights off. It could be an option to try this, which would eliminate cost and having someone open and close every day. It has also been suggested to turn the street light off at the skate park at 11pm. No one will skate in the dark as you cannot see well, problem solved.
    • RCMP being notified to help patrol may assist in deterring the late-night partiers from being in the Park. It is not just the skatepark area, if it wasn't there the party would be in the dugouts or around the concession. Having RCMP do regular checks throughout Patton Park would possibly solve this problem. I do not recommend citizens of Lundbreck take this matter into their own hands as it will not be affective. The past has indicated this.
    • Parking- possibly have a sign - no parking at the fence near the residences home and close the fence for people to walk through. The entrance to Patton park is not far down the road for people to drive around on the other side. Problem solved.
    • The Snider family are in the process of developing a committee from the communities to bring support, fundraising, grant writing, safety and skate lessons. Potentially skate lessons to take place once a week. By working together with citizens council and the recreation committee there will be great support in looking after this park.
    • Sniders will access supports from Lethbridge's Infamous Skateboards company, Boarder line, Grassy Butte Environmental Fencing, Crowsnest Pass skatepark crew, children and adult skaters in the community.
    • We will apply for a CIP grant to assist in operating and program costs and do fund raising. to promote the park. We would like to develop and present some events and have some competitions going on through out the summer.
    The Snider Family has taken an active role for the last 14 years and are willing to continue to maintain the park for the safety of the new generation of children wanting to learn to skate.

    We want to encourage children to come out and give it a try, offer skate lessons given by the older adults who were apart of the beginning of the LA Park. Sharing Derek's dedication to skate and love of teaching children to skate will keep Harold's passion for skating rollin' in the park.

    We are asking for the MD to continue to support the park and assist us with the cost of closing the skate park daily. The Lundbreck skate park will require some repairs, once assessed, we will obtain a couple quotes and submit this to the MD office in hopes that council will be able to provide a financial contribution to allow some immediate repairs to be taken care of. Maintaining safety for the children needs to be a priority. Potential grants will not be available to us until the late fall or early winter.

    We want to make this Park to be a place people want to be. Any suggestions, support$ and volunteer efforts are greatly appreciated. With great regards, The Snider family (Terry Lynne, John & Dustin).

    Lundbreck Skate Park
    Taras Panchyshyn eulogizes his friend Derek

    Taras Panchyshyn, in memory of Derek Snider:

    I want to start by saying thank you to everyone who has come out and to everyone involved with making this very special day happen. It's awesome to see how close both the skate and surrounding community is.

    When the Snider family asked me to speak today I immediately said yes, definitely yes. I felt there was so much that I wanted to say. But every time my pen hit the paper my heart sank and nothing came out. I didn't and don't want these to be sad words. Which, of course is difficult. What do you say about a guy that was more than a full package. An amazing, kindhearted, ridiculously talented, crazy, Elvis loving, terrible-rap listening, best friend. So, I thought, let's tell some some stories!

    Everyone who knew Derek knows he would give you the shirt off his back, which, was probably your shirt to begin with...

    I wish I remembered how we met like he did. I guess I was teaching his school group when I was an instructor my first year at Castle. Derek told me that he was being a little brat ( ha ha I can believe that ) and I made him ride switch all day to settle him down and maybe knock a little ego out. Well, I guess that never worked, he just ended up getting better and better, going faster and faster, and going bigger and bigger. He kept up to the boys at every turn and eventually started showing us how to ride better, ride faster and ride happier. I think of how many times it was him telling ME to buck up, you'll get the next one, don't worry it was good, bird it looked good. It wasn't long or too many chair rides later I was hooked on what can only be called... "the ROLDY". Over the years that friendship grew into one I will cherish forever. It was at the hill where we meet but it was all of our crazy adventures that made us brothers.

    Its wasn't long before we bonded over what we are here for today. SKATEBOARDING. Sometimes it's hard to explain to people who don't skate how important it is to have a good safe place to skate in the community. Through their boys, Dustin and Derek the Snider family got it. Their determination produced a place where their kids could play, hang out, and build life long friendships.

    From care free skate sessions, to ridiculous city trips and terrible jokes, to telling him to turn down that less than appealing rap in the jimmy; "Roldy, the speakers rattling does not mean the bass is dope." Late night shed talks, scribbling on every thing we could find, master plans to buy screen presses, the first talks about HAROLD APPAREL. All these memories are still hard to re live, but are good to share. It was always good times with Derek. Well mostly, he definitely was an expensive date, he was the first to hold anybody to an idea, and get us out of the house and be the first to say " what, no I don't have any money". Harold! You are the only person I know that you could give a twenty dollar bill to get a beer, and you come back with two and no change; "where is the change? "oh I just gave her the money, she gave me beer". Harold. It is amazing how things like that still never bothered us, it was just done with such a smile and no worries. I have never met someone that could bring that much stoke to a situation, than him. I on countless occasions sat on my steps waiting for him to go play skateboards. Like a little kid waiting for his dad to take him fishing , waiting, waiting, telling Katie......"oh he's coming"......"ten more minutes"...."don't worry, he's coming". Hours would go by and like clock work the phone would ring, "yo, dude. Can you just come pick me up, I got no gas, or my truck is broken", or... well we all know the list of excuses. Now I know what some of you are thinking, you would think I would have caught on and just went and got him in the beginning, well I am a skateboarder....not very bright, you see. When we where on decks together, us and all the boys. You could sit and just watch him rip for hours. He had style for days, and always in the freshest of hats. The nicest front smith out of the crew, he went the biggest out of the pitcher hip I have ever seen someone go, he made the vert wall look like a mini ramp, and always had something positive to say even when you had a case of the debs. To be honest I think a lot of us where jealous of just how dang good he was, it looked so fun and easy when it come out of him, what ever it was. I know he would hate me saying that, so you know what. HAROLD, YOU RIPPED! There will always be a hole at every skate spot we will now have to ollie without him rolling up to you with a head phone in his hand. "you got to check this song out". "you gotta listen to this". Spoiler alert. 99 percent of the time it was not a very good song. I admit there where a few gems, but rare. My heart will never be filled the same as it was listening to that one headphone.

    So I guess what I am trying to say is having the opportunity to be able to dedicate such a positive place in the community to such an amazing son, friend, homie, and brother is RAD! Hopefully this facility will continue to breed awesome people for years to come. Thank you Terry, Dustin, John and everybody else who was a part of this. I think I can speak for all off us and say it really means a lot.

    Harold, You are my friend, my brother, my partner in crime, the reason people have friends. You are an amazing person that never thought anything through, this is just why I love you. Your talent was only surpassed by your kindness, and we all know you to had so much to give the world. Your spirit will live on in our hearts, on our boards and now this park where my son can come skate and try to catch some of that Lundbreck steez. I hope you are shredding the smoothest longest parks up there, 

    Skate and Destroy Derek, Skate and Destroy

    Derek Snider

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