Sunnyside Skatepark plans underway

Noe Mendoza, of Sunnyside, left, and Nate Trevino, of Grandview, enjoy a cold ale in front of the Varietal Beer area during the fourth annual Sunnyside Ale Fest in June 2018.

It all started with an idea over a pint of beer between friends to bring the community together and build a skateboarding park.

Sunnyside Daybreak Rotary Club adopted the skatepark project in 2015, and after years of fundraising, planning, and organizing, a location has been chosen for Sunnyside’s new Downtown Skatepark.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for this fall at Central Park, behind the Sunnyside Pool, 559 South 4th St.

“The city has been terrific to work with. City Manager Martin Casey actually had the city lay out four different locations for us to choose from, and we chose Central Park” according to Bill Lange, Sunnyside Daybreak Rotary Club President for the 2021-2022 year.

As of Monday, June 14, Sunnyside Daybreak Rotary has raised $300,000 through the Sunnyside Summer Ale Fest.

The annual festival at Centennial Square has been essential in raising funds for the skatepark, with more than 200 tickets pre-ordered for 2019’s event, drawing close to 600 people.

The project also received a $20,000 donation in 2018 from The Fred and Ann Whitney Family Foundation, a Summer Ale Fest Imperial sponsor.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic forced cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 Summer Ale Fests, plans are still underway. “We did not want to lose momentum on the project, so with the help of the City Manager, Martin Casey, and the Sunnyside Port, Jay Hester we are moving this project forward,” Daybreak Rotary Club member Shelly Durfey said.

The Daybreak Rotary Club is entertaining bids from two companies that specialize in concrete skatepark construction and when a company is chosen, an announcement will be made. “We’re leaning heavily toward one, but I think as a matter of business practice, it’s good to get a second bid,” said Lange.

Community members who would like to donate to the project can mail checks made out to the “Foundation for the Community of Sunnyside” to 910 Franklin Ave. Suite 3, Sunnyside, WA 98944. Donations can also be dropped off at White & Company CPAs, 910 Franklin Ave. Suite 3 in Sunnyside.

Anyone interested in doing service work in the community or interested in Sunnyside Daybreak Rotary may attend weekly meetings at 7 a.m. on Wednesdays at Bon Vinos Bistro. All are welcome.

Ileana Martinez can be contacted at 509-837-4500 ext 115, or email imartinez@sunnysidesun.com

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