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Youth's efforts prompt repair of village skatepark

June 20, 2012 - Marty Vargo has proven that hard work really does pay off.

The 17-year-old Ortonville resident was recently recognized for his initiative in aiding Fred Waybrant, Brandon recreation director, in fixing the half pipe at Ortonville Skate Park.

The half pipe, a favorite amongst the riding and skating community, was closed after failing to pass a safety inspection. Vargo quickly noticed an imbalance at the park due to the half pipe's absence and decided to do something about it.

"It was noticeable that fewer people came to ride at the park due to the half pipe being closed," said Vargo. "All the older groups that used to ride at the park would (make do) by driving to a distant park. So the majority of age groups that were still hanging around at the park were under 13-years-old. That being said, it became more clear to me that if the issue for the park was to be handled, it would have to be me."

Vargo spoke with the skate park monitor and realized that due to expenses the repair would take longer than anticipated. Yet this news didn't deter the teen.

"The skate ramp monitor told me if I found a cheaper way to fix the ramp then they might be able to get it fixed sooner."

Vargo found 'Skateramps.us' and provided several different grades and prices of material.

Waybrant, who oversaw the completion of the half pipe, was pleased to see such a reliable kid.

"I think it's very important that young adults get recognized for their leadership capabilities," he said. "He took the initiative to save money and get the project moving along."

Vargo's diligence did not go unrewarded. Woodward, a company that supplies materials for skate ramps, came across the story of Vargo's efforts and gave him a flex-fit hat and T-shirt with the Woodward logo.

Staff Writer
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