September 22 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #31
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The Thirty-First Skateboard Donation

Of late, for a good number of reasons, but mostly because I'm so dang busy, my mood has been quite reflective and even pensive. I suspect my mental state is a reaction to an ever-expanding to-do list and is an involuntary, equalizing attempt to keep me from getting too far ahead of myself (no doubt as a means of self-preservation). It's like the Pitbull lyric, "So ahead of myself everyday's yesterday."

The point I'm trying to make is that I cherish my memories and I'm so grateful that I have such fond experiences to recollect. And this is part of what this skateboard campaign is intended to do - provide kids in our community with the kind of memories they'll be able to think about someday and smile about, especially once the inevitable rigors of adulthood take over.

Here's a jam I'm loving today that's probably driving this correspondence - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yYV9-KoSUM

And, of course, thank you to Tami and the Iron Horse Bar and Grill for providing this skateboard donation and so many wonderful memories.

Sincerely,

SPM

"Time moves in one direction, memory in another." - William Gibson 

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September 6 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #30

The Thirtieth Skateboard Donation

Another HUGE THANK YOU to Patrick Carls, owner of Five Guys Burgers and Fries, for his second skateboard donation. At-a-glance this board might look the same as the first design, but this variation includes a delicious milkshake and, of course, the fries...oh yes the fries.

From a design aspect, what I love most about these boards is the red background. The Five Guys red is a specific shade - Red PMS 186, however the screen capture (used to create the "Burger" deck) didn't come through with the exact color mix, so I had to wrestle around to get both boards the same color. This was a challenge, but they turned out perfectly.

For someone who loves food, and cheeseburgers in particular, Five Guys is a great place to go and has quickly become my daughter and I's favorite hamburger joint. Now, the designation of "favorite" burger joint cannot be understated; when I was a kid my Dad used to bring my brother and I to the Hamburger Ace and those memories are enshrined in my very being.

So, thanks, Patrick, for the wonderful skateboard donations and the opportunity to design these revered Five Guys skateboards. Oh, and also thank you for providing us dads with a place that answers the bell as "favorite" burger joint.

Sincerely,

SPM

August 18 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #28
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The Twenty-Eighth Skateboard Donation

Behold...the second skateboard donation by Warm Springs Productions. Opposite the "Boy Board", which was donated on June 22nd, this choice design was also created by Joseph Brutsman (pictured above) and is fittingly called the "Girl Board". As you can tell, Joseph is quite fond of these boards and I can totally relate. It's one thing to fashion a graphic on a computer, but it's another thing to see the artwork in real life, upon a skateboard - its true intent.

From here, this board will travel, with a delightful young girl aboard, in search of adventure, seeking thrills and unraveling mysteries. And for us who played a part in making this skateboard, we can be proud of the final product and inspired by the power of our intention, which is manifested in the board itself and the subsequent fun it will bring.

So while it's farewell for now, the Girl Board is off to do big things and I'm so grateful for everyone's help in making this donation a reality.

Sincerely,

SPM

August 11 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #27
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The Twenty-Seventh Skateboard Donation

4Missoula's tagline is "Connecting Our Community" and the twenty-seventh skateboard donation is a great example of us doing exactly that. While not the economic engine of say the Montana Grizzly football team, we still have plenty of moving parts and one of them is Tyler at Big Bear Sign Company. Tyler has been great to work with and, after seeing designs come in, he hooked us up with skateboard artist, Patrick Cork, owner of Center Pocket Graphics-N-Design, to create something new.

I just love how different this board is compared to the others. From the gunmetal exterior to the grill feature lurking beneath, this graphic is Predator at a monster truck rally and is totally heavy metal and completely bad-ass.

Thank you so much, Patrick, for the skateboard design, and Tyler for the referral. You are both mighty awesome parts of this extraordinary machine.

Sincerely,

SPM

July 26 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #26
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The Twenty-Sixth Skateboard Donation

Thank you to Tami, owner of the Iron Horse Bar and Grill, for the 26th skateboard donation. Tami is one of 4Missoula's biggest supporters and this skateboard is the first of twelve to be donated over the next year. In order to keep the boards unique, so each recipient receives a one-of-a-kind design, I have modified the color scheme for each month. This month's July color scheme is a patriotic red, white, and blue.

As a designer, color selection is one of my favorite aspects of production. An appealing color swatch works on a subconscious level and can really affect one's attitude toward the piece. There is a huge amount of science behind colors and I don't understand most of it, but I do know when a harmony feels right and, hopefully, all the Iron Horse boards have a sensational feel.

For those interested in colors, here are a couple of my favorite websites for creating swatches:

Thanks, again, to Tami and the Iron Horse for the "July" skateboard donation. Your generosity has made this patriotic board possible and has perpetuated freedom...to shred!!! 

Sincerely,

SPM

July 14 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #25
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The Twenty-Fifth Skateboard Donation

Thank you so much to Paul Blastic for coming clutch, as usual, and delivering the twenty-fifth skateboard donation. Paul and I have been friends since high school, but it was many years earlier that I first heard about the legend that is Paul Blastic. At first it was like, “there’s a kid on that Little Grizzly Football team who’s amazing” or “Westside All-Stars are good, they have Paul Blastic” or “there’s a kid, Paul Blastic, he’s throwing backflips.”

Paul’s reputation precedes him and for good reason, he does incredible things on a daily basis and while he’s physically superior (I’ve never met anyone more coordinated), he will never rub it in your face and make you feel inferior. Instead, Paul simply encourages, shows how it’s supposed to be done, and then takes you with him on a wild, wild ride. These days Paul lives in Portland, OR and continues the family tradition of teaching Physical Education; they live by the three Rs – roll call, roll ball, and relax.

The Paul Blastic skateboard design was inspired by a typical, odd-ball Paul quote, “greasing the happy wagon” spoken in regards to a colossal frisbee golf throw that cruised flawlessly through the timber. And, after playing a few road trip word games with Paul I get the feeling this phrase was manufactured on the spot…by his cat-like reflexes. 

Once again, thank you, Paul, for the out-of-the-blue skateboard donation. You’re a living legend, man, and have always been someone I admire, not only because of your kind ways, but also because of your natural confidence (depicted in the design by a pipe-smoking rabbit). I’ll always be looking forward to our next adventure, because it seems the best time we’ve had so far is almost always the last time we hung out, which is pretty phenomenal if you think about it.

Sincerely,

SPM

June 29 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #24
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The Twenty-Fourth Skateboard Donation

Good thing Patrick Carls, owner of Five Guys Burgers and Fries in Missoula (and beyond), donated two skateboards because it'll take at least a couple newsletters to impart how awesome and charming and fantastically corny Patrick is.

Growing up, Pat and I (and a deep, deep crew) spent pretty much every day at our friend Jeremy Presta's house where, different than my house, I was allowed to be goofy and jock-ish and express my inner macho. Jer's parents, Louis and Lynette (who are totally awesome), provided more than bottomless Kool-Aid, they provided a second home where us kids built bonds to last a lifetime. Pat and I's relationship is a product of that household.

Besides being a kind and genuine person, Patrick is beyond hilarious and his laugh is so contagious that upon hearing it I laugh and then (and this has happened more than once) we get caught in a perpetual laugh cycle that is almost asphyxiating and completely obnoxious. Louis actually kicked us out of the house one time for laughing so much. We couldn't help it though!!!

So, Patrick-buddy, thank you so much for the skateboard donation. It means the world to me to continue making things happen and I look forward to the next time we can get goofy together and relive those glorious days of our youth.

Sincerely,

SPM

June 23 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #23
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The Twenty-Third Skateboard Donation

Thank you to my life-long friend Lyle Vinson for spearheading this donation and arranging for his employer, Warm Springs Productions, to donate two skateboards - one for a boy and one for a girl. Lyle did an excellent job presenting 4Missoula to WSP and made their contribution extra-special. Both designs were done in-house by the very talented, Joseph Brutsman...and they turned out AMAZING!!!

The design process was simple. I provided Joseph a board template, for size and truck placement, which he then used to create this beautiful and super-stylish graphic using an electronic sketchpad. I was a little concerned about digital resolution as we scaled the design up to life-size, but it turned out fabulous. (I can almost hear 4Missoula's VP, William Greely, saying to me, "Ye of little faith." haha)

There is another skateboard at play here, the "Girl Board", however it has yet to be donated so I had to crop the above photo so as not to unveil it; I always try and save the big reveal for the recipient of the board. I'm super-pumped, however, to deliver the "Girl Board" and publish it. Like the "Boy Board" it is a delectable visual treat.

Thanks, again, to everyone at Warm Springs Productions for the skateboard donation and the superb artwork. Needless to say this was a winning effort.

Sincerely,

SPM

June 16 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #22
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The Twenty-Second Skateboard Donation

Thank you so much to Mike Eudaily, an old acquaintance and manager of Noodles & Company, for the skateboard donation. Mike and I were in kindergarten together and I don't know if he remembers this or not but he was the only kid in the class who could read. Now-a-days it's commonplace for children of that age to read, but back then it made Mike a bit of my hero; he has always been ahead of his time.

After seeing the work I've been up to, and considering that he himself is an old skater, Mike reached out and offered up half of Noodles & Company's nightly earnings as a donation. The event served as our first 4Missoula Night (a generic term for profit-sharing dining events) and also generated enough flow to donate this exotic-looking board.

The backdrop for this deck has a funky-primordial feel and, aside from the mac and cheese, resonates ancient Asia. And why the Lego-dude you might ask? Well, it just so happens that Mike's son, Jameson, is a fan of Lord Garmadon, which I find totally inspiring for some reason, so the ninja has made an appearance - pushing a noodle bowl and looking super-fierce!!!

Thank you to Noodles & Company for the opportunity to collaborate and create this fantastic board. (Mike, we might have just fulfilled some sort of destiny here, man, and someday, I bet, we'll look back on this and realize we were way ahead of our time...and that's all you, bro.)

Sincerely,

SPM

May 26 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #21
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The Twenty-First Skateboard Donation

This week we have another guest artist and I really must say (not even being biased) this board is my favorite so far. Thank you to my talented daughter, Maryan Haze Mullendore, for the skateboard design.

It was probably six years ago that Maryan drew this chilling rendition of Frankenstein, entitled "Frakginsdane". Different than my designs, which are basically a collection of pirated webart (traced in Illustrator) and arranged in a semi-harmonious fashion in an attempt to honor the donor, this skateboard is real, genuine art...probably created in a pre-school art class even. I just love the gnarly spew coming out of Frakginsdane's warped mouth (and apparently the back of its head) - it's hella creepy. 

Mar-mo, this design is a perfect expression of the adventurous (and tastefully diabolical) person that you are. The volume of creativity brewing inside you is astronomical and I can't wait to see what wickedness comes next.

Sincerely,

SPM

May 19 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #20
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The Twentieth Skateboard Donation

While all the donations written about so far have had individual donors and artwork done by myself, this skateboard donation represents another avenue of fundraising and something that I hope will make big strides in the future. The William Louis Feffer board was made possible by all the fine participants in our fundraising events and the artist, William Feffer, is a long lost friend who I've loosely followed on Facebook over the years.

Impressed by William's abstract photography, I was able to contact him by phone (only because he was in service while restocking on supplies before heading back to the California wilderness) and ask if he'd consider donating a skateboard design...which he was more than stoked to do!!!

So, here's the first 4Missoula skateboard donation created by a guest artist. Thank you so much William for the beautiful design and thank you to all the folks who have thrown horseshoes, picked weeds, bowled for boards, bought Christmas Trees, raffle tickets, and baseball tickets from us in order to help local kids. It might not necessarily take a community to donate a board, but it most certainly will take a community to donate a lot of boards.

Thanks, again, for the incredible support. You are all so very special and important and appreciated to the absolute maximum.

Sincerely,

SPM 

May 12 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #19
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The Nineteenth Skateboard Donation

Doug Hammell is one of the smoothest dudes I've ever met and he embodies the term "unflappable." I first remember thinking how clutch Doug was while folfing between classes at the old Lindley Park frisbee golf course in Bozeman. The sport just seemed so effortless to him and I get the impression that Doug applies this same fluidity across all aspects of life. So, while I'm a bit of an emotional roller-coaster, Doug operates on a more even keel and his undertakings definately have a nice upward trajectory.

Doug and I both have marketing degrees from MSU, so last year when I got the chance to make it to a Bobcat football game, I was very excited to brief Doug on 4Missoula and gauge his response. On the short walk from the tailgate to the entrance gate I explained 4Missoula to him and as we walked into the game Doug turned said, "Mully, I'd be happy to donate a board."  Yes!!! Score one for 4Missoula...at a Bobcat game!!!

The opportunity to design a Doug-inspired deck was an awesome thing and I'm overjoyed with our ability to reconnect and create something so special. My first couple design attempts, however, were shot down (Doug's pragmatism spared a Missoula-area kid from having to skate a Bozeman-looking board) and after delving into Doug's passion for fishing and the Smith River, which by the way is an indian vortex, the final Doug Hammell skateboard turned out amazing and even includes a glimpse of Doug in it.

Thank you for the donation, Doug. I consider this whole process to be a great gift. The ease with which you provide support is uplifting, inspiring, and so fantastically genuine. Youdaman, man.

Sincerely,

SPM

May 4 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #18
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The Eighteenth Skateboard Donation

Thank you, so incredibly much, to Park Side Credit Union for the skateboard donation. Park Side President and CEO Jeremy Presta is one of my best friends and even though we don't see too much of each other these days, he still provides me with an enormous amount of personal inspiration. What I love most about Jeremy is his work ethic and his dedication to friends and family. Both of these qualities are paramount to being a great leader (and a total boss), but what sets Jeremy apart is the intensity with which he applies them. Jeremy is a juggernaut when it comes to respect and no one I've ever met commands more of it.

Even though we've known each other almost our entire lives I was still nervous about approaching Jeremy for a skateboard donation. To me it was a big ask; considering how much I value Jeremy's opinion (and our relationship) there was a lot at stake. Not to mention, Jeremy has risen to the top ranks in the banking industry and the potential of a 4Missoula/Park Side partnership is considerable - this skateboard donation was a big deal. So while I was anxious about the Park Side skateboard donation, Jeremy put my mind at ease and brought everything into perspective with the most-appropriate little question, "how's the family?"

Thank you so much, Jeremy and Park Side Credit Union, for not only providing a local kid with a meaningful gift, but also for providing meaningful friendships that make us feel like part of the family, which is a true honor and an incredibly endearing sentiment.

Sincerely,

SPM

April 27 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #17
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The Seventeenth Skateboard Donation

Tami Ursich, owner of the Iron Horse Bar & Grill, is "kind of a big deal" around here and has a prolific influence on the Missoula community. Her restaurant is more than a local watering hole, it is the lifeblood of downtown and the quintessential piece to any type of reunion. Running the most popular restaurant in town means that Tami's time is extra-valuable, thus getting the chance to meet with her was a special opportunity and an encounter not to take lightly.

Luckily the meeting went very well; Tami loves the idea of helping kids in need and the concept of using skateboards to reach them was very well-received. I work with Tami's sister, Leslie, and was able to bounce a couple design ideas off her before presenting a final draft to Tami. The initial rounds were kinda blah and Leslie, who shares her sister's exuberant personality, was quick to advise the use of more color. And this was such great advice!!! I just love the color scheme on this board and I'm very excited to play around with more color swatches on different Iron Horse skateboards in the future as Tami, in an amazing gesture of kindness, has pledged 12 more skateboard donations - one every month for the next year!!! 

Thank you, Tami, for the skateboard donation and also thank you for providing a place so substantial that one might say that while a river runs through it, the Iron Horse runs through it too.

Sincerely,

SPM

April 13 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #16
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The Sixteenth Skateboard Donation

How boss player is this board?!!! Special thanks to Rich Ellis, owner of RP Ellis Fine Jewelry in downtown Missoula, for the skateboard donation. Rich and I go way back and when it comes to help with business adventures (I've run a couple past him over the years) Rich is always a great resource. Not only does Rich provide financial backing, he is also very knowledgeable about the business world and his advice is extremely valuable. Rich has a nice way of presenting his expertise...and he didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

One thing that Rich did, and he probably doesn't think anything of it, is reassure me that 365 skateboard donations will happen. I just love that about Rich, he's so nonchalent and optimistic. It's like "why wouldn't you donate 365 skateboards?" It's so easy.

Thank you so much for the support, Rich, and the opportunity to design a skateboard with a Rolex in it. No matter what, this one's always "Right On" time.

Sincerely,

SPM

April 6 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #15
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The Fifteenth Skateboard Donation

Media is everywhere and using it to accomplish our mission of donating skateboards is fundamental. In the case of this email, for example, the audience is targeted and the results are reliable - about 41% of the "Newsletter" list actually opens the email, subsequently making ya'll my favorite segment of the market. Facebook is another tool and while the audience is much larger, the reach varies depending on many factors. I joke, but it's completely true, that a post with a picture of an attractive female showing lots of skin will reach more people than your average post. Furthermore, if that particular woman likes the photo and shares it with her friends then the reach gets even bigger. By then, however, everyone is too busy commenting on how great she looks to remember the original topic. And then there's television...the king of all media and something that 4Missoula hopes to someday utilize to a huge degree.

To date I have only done one television appearance, on the KPAX Community Spotlight, promoting the first annual Horseshoe Bonanza and this skateboard donation is a direct result of that interview. Not long after the spot aired I was playing hockey, lined up across from my old schoolmate, Cory George, who mentioned that he saw me on TV and wanted to donate a board. It is unlikely that the TV spot persuaded him to donate, Cory is about the nicest person on the planet and I think he would have donated regardless, but the fact that one simple television spot reached him is fascinating and something to get excited about.

Naturally, the Cory George deck has a hockey theme and even includes Cory's PBR trophy as a design element. Hockey, as a design subject, is superb as the sport offers so many great images - from the trophies, to the ice carves to the glass shards...it's just compelling stuff.

Thank you so much for the donation, Cory. It was beyond serendipitous and it was only because of your kindness and generosity (key ingredients in the marketing mix) that this skateboard happened.

Sincerely,

SPM

March 30 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #14
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The Fourteenth Skateboard Donation

You'll never know until you try. That little phrase comes into play everyday as I work to promote 4Missoula, and I find it exhilarating how, when you have something you're trying to accomplish, everything seems to burst with purpose (I swoon with the notion of infinite possibility). The world opens itself up and all that's left to do is make the call.

Before reaching out to Paul Ryan I had seen him around town and always thought, now there's a cool dude. There's just something about him that made a skateboard donation seem like a great idea, so I called up his law firm, left a random-ass message, and tada! - within a couple minutes his assistant, Kierstin, called back with word that Paul Ryan would love to donate a board.

"The Paul Ryan" design is based upon trees (ponderosa pine to be specific) which seems like a good fit for a lawyer for some reason. Also, there is a floral element inspired by the time I saw Paul Ryan at Splash Montana in board shorts. Overall this design is refined and natural...an ironic combination.

Thank you so much, Paul, for the skateboard donation. Your simple answer of "yes" did more than make this board possible, it made everything possible.

Forever grateful,

SPM

March 22 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #13
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The Thirteenth Skateboard Donation

Hockey locker rooms are sensational. From the aroma of stale beer and sweat, which I've been informed is the smell of victory, to the lewd but cheerful banter spoken freely among comrades, to the fascinating characters who embrace this pastime, the hockey locker room is an alluring place. I laugh when I think about the first time I dressed out for a hockey game - I arrived an hour early (in order to figure out how to put all the gear on) and once assembled I sat there looking silly, apparently, because the first dude through the door asked, "did you drive here dressed like that?" As the team ambled in I was struck by how brute-ish and hockey-ish everyone looked...and this was novice league!!!

It was in a hockey locker room where I met Missoula Rural Firefighter Dodd McDermott of Local #2457 - sponsor of the thirteenth skateboard donation. With his burly mustache, bad-ass name, and rugged exterior, Dodd looks like a hockey goon, but he's actually a really nice guy and has been awesome in rallying the support of the rural firefighters to help 4Missoula.

All the donations thus far have been a great fit between sponsor and skater, but this one was particularly perfect. It turns out that the kid who received the Local #2457 board also wants to be a firefighter (and a monster truck driver), so in addition to a new skateboard we were also able to give him and his family a tour of the fire station; seeing this cute little kid with all the firefighter gear on was absolutely adorable and I'm sure made everyone's day. 

Thank you so much, Dodd, for making this donation happen. You're a hero, man, and someone who, whether it's in the line of duty, on the ice, or anywhere else, is always great to see.

Sincerely,

SPM

March 9 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #11 and #12

The Eleventh and Twelfth Skateboard Donation

Keith Dery and I were both raised in Missoula and spent a lot of time growing up here together. We used to ride our bikes all over town, from the Kim Williams Trail with its nooks and crannies (these days home to bums), to Bonner Park and Ole's Country Store where we would get three "slimes for a grime" (hot dogs for a dollar), to the top of Mount Sentinel where we would ride the Pengelly Trail, known back then as simply "The Ridge." And no one rode The Ridge like Keith Dery. I recall cruising down the single-track at a pretty good clip only to look up and see Keith, in the far-off distance, bounding down an entirely different section of the run. I swear he didn't use his brakes once!!!

Keith rolls with a fascinating, and sort of eccentric, brand of moxie and while residing in Virginia he hasn't lost touch with his western roots making it back every year to shred the slopes and rock his super-badass timbersled. A few years back, OK actually six years back, in 2011 Keith became 4Missoula's very first skateboard sponsor with a $300 double skateboard donation - he's always been an earlier adopter and a good friend. So, after a ridiculously long wait I'm proud to say that we've finally turned Keith's donation into two fantastic skateboards. As a tribute to our old stomping grounds the "Chachi Deck" is a menagerie of those establishments that make Missoula so very special.

Thank you, Keith, for the double skateboard donation. You've been down since the jump, man, and it's beyond wonderful that the Chachi deck, designed to embody the essence of our upbringing, is here to foster the kind of memories that we both cherish. Memories that still inspire us today, memories that last a lifetime.

Sincerely,

SPM

March 2 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #10

The Tenth Skateboard Donation

Jim McLean is a very impressive dude. While being a quiet and gentle character, he's also an animal on the trail and when unleashed in the backcountry his hiking abilities are simply breathtaking. Furthermore, and what's really cool, is that Jim is outrageously kind and is always willing to share his hiking prowess with others so that they can get out there and experience Western Montana, especially the grandeur of Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

Jim spent his professional career as a physical therapist and owner of Frenchtown Physical Therapy, thus when you tweak a muscle or sprain an ankle he's a great person to have around. It's actually quite amazing how he can use a small strip of athletic tape to subtly adjust how you carry yourself, relieving stress and tension and pain. Jim has a keen sense for how people move and when you combine that with his generous nature...well, a skateboard donation was just inevitable.

Thank you so much, Jim, for seeing how we move and providing that, oftentimes metaphorical, piece of tape to help us make it through.

Sincerely,

SPM

February 24 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #8 and #9

The Eighth and Ninth Skateboard Donation

I first met Emmie Purcell at a Skatepark Mark photo shoot back in 2012. At that time I was publishing the SPM blog in The Corridor (local newspaper) and was at the Mobash skatepark to photograph local skateboard instructor Sarris McComb. One of Sarris's students, Parker Arneson, was on-hand for additional visual content and this little dude ended up stealing the show. I was absolutely blown away with the wild abandon that this super-cute kid attacked the park with; he was obviously cut from a gnarly sort of cloth, namely his mom, Emmie.

Cat nap on the step
Kick turn in the bowl
Since Emmie and I both have kids about the same age we became fast friends and I even dubbed her "Skatepark Mom" (SPMom). It's wonderful to see how much Emmie supports Parker and his passion for skateboarding...and the term passion might be an understatement. If Parker isn't slaying the park on his board he's learning new tricks on his Tech Deck. For those unfamiliar with Tech Decks, they're mini skateboards that are controlled with fingertips rather than feet. Until I met Parker I had thought they were little trinkets for show, but no, they get rode and in the hands of Parker they come alive with tricks off every ledge and grinds down every edge in the house and everywhere else.

When I asked Emmie if she would be interested in donating a skateboard she was like nah, I'll donate two!!! That's just the kind of person Emmie is. She does it big and she does it with a huge heart. So, with instructions to design an "Ode to the Four Seasons" I came up with this vintage-feeling board, which includes Jack Kerouac's "Dharma Bums" - a novel that reminds me of the Pacific Northwest where Emmie and Parker now call home. Different than Kerouac, however, Emmie and Parker are not gently meandering the region, instead they are charging hard and crushing everything in sight.

Thank you, so much, Emmie for the double donation. You'll always be the SPMom behind this operation.

Sincerely,

SPM

February 16 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #7

The Seventh Skateboard Donation

When Jennifer Driscoll asked if she could be the seventh skateboard donation I just had to say YES! Jennifer has been a devout supporter of 4Missoula from the very start and I'm keen on accommodating her requests, peculiar as they may be. :) Now conventional wisdom says a donation is a donation, but I have a bit of a superstitious bent, OK actually HUGE superstitious bent, so I can totally understand the desire to be donation number seven or what have you.

Jennifer and I first became acquainted at the 2015 Horseshoe Bonanza (4Missoula's premiere fundraising event) where we were teammates and despite our dismal performance we still managed to have fun and bask in the glory of a successful event we both played a HUGE part in creating. While I rounded up participants Jennifer secured our very first raffle item - a Weber Grill from Ace Hardware, which the winner gifted back (thank you Matt Hermes) allowing us to re-raffle the grill at Bowling for Boards 2016, doubling its affect and setting a precedent for maximizing all donations to the absolute fullest.

With the donation train on hold I cranked out Jennifer's skateboard design, which includes an osprey (photo taken by Jennifer herself), printed the graphic, assembled the board and donated it last weekend in the Bitterroot to a very stoked little ripper. This board came together in hurry and I sense that being donation number seven is simply how it's supposed to be.

Thank you so much, Jennifer, for the skateboard donation and all the support you offer to 4Missoula and our community. We are all very lucky to have you and your donation number seven.

Sincerely,

SPM

January 18 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #6

The Sixth Skateboard Donation

Carol Blodgett, Internet Director at KPAX Television (my colleague) and sponsor of The Sixth Skateboard Donation, is one fabulous mix of straight-shooter and open-heart compassionate. What a great asset, as I go forward with marketing 4Missoula, to have someone around who is both supportive and, at the same time, pulls no punches. This blend of personality paves the way for serious progress and I'm so grateful for her perspective...and her skateboard donation.

The Blodgett Motif came a long way from its inception, which included a slashing grizzly bear claw and a treasure map. One element of the design that really resonates with us skaters is the Flathead Lake Monster - a piece of folklore that adds an edge to this otherwise peaceful scene. From the cherry blossoms to the sailboat this board feels warm and inviting, a welcome sensation as winter persists.

Thank you so much, Carol, for providing the skateboard donation and also thank you for your emphatic support of 4Missoula. The fact that you don't think we're completely nuts is really quite reassuring.

Sincerely,

SPM

The January 10 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #5

The Fifth Skateboard Donation

Annelise Hedahl is pretty much the most famous person I know or at least the most multi-faceted. The Fifth Skateboard Donation, made possible by this dynamo of a gal, is a tribute to her childhood nanny, Mitch. Considering how wonderful Annelise is, I'd say Mitch must have been a very kind and influential person and now, this most likely unforeseen tribute is here and it's a beautiful thing.

I met Annelise while working at the Missoulian newspaper and was immediately fond of her (as is everyone). She has a fantastic way of filling the room with excitement, fun and enthusiasm. Nowadays Annelise works in real estate, holds a spot on city council, was the "2016 Face of Skin Chic", and is now participating in "Dancing with the Missoula Stars 2017" which is a benefit for the Downtown Dance Collective. See what I mean, she's doing big things.

Thank you so much, Annelise for reaching out to 4Missoula and donating a skateboard. The wonderful waves you're making here in our community are absolutely amazing and we're all so thankful for you...and for Nanny Mitch too.

Sincerely,

SPM 

January 4 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #4

The Fourth Skateboard Donation

On Christmas Eve, 4Missoula's Vice President, William Greely, and I ventured out in a blizzard to deliver a few skateboards and oh what an amazing feeling it was. I wish everyone could see the looks on these kids' faces when a couple random dudes come in from the cold with a special gift just for them. It warms my heart just thinking about it - the open doors, the deeply appreciative smiles. These skateboards are a pure joy for everyone involved.

The "Fourth Skateboard Donation" was made possible by my Farmers Insurance agent, Jeremy Belcourt, and his wonderful assistant, Meghan Mitchell. It's a curious relationship I have with these two. I have never actually met Jeremy and almost all the communication I have with Meghan, is through LinkedIn, of all things. Yet, they are over-the-top helpful (obviously) and have top-notch customer service, which is a key component to the loyalty they've won from me.

You two had me at the multi-car discount, but a skateboard donation, well that's just way beyond good business...it's pretty much legendary. So, thank you for the support and open-mindedness when saying "Yes!" to my skateboard pitch.

Sincerely,

SPM

December 29 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #3

The Third Skateboard Donation

The boys at the skateshop particularly like this design and I do too!!! Huge thank you to Jamie Ulmer for making this donation possible. Like myself, Jamie is a Montana State alum (currently residing in Colorado) and is an absolute joy to work with. Before this skateboard design I helped Jamie with a few branding elements for her marketing business which she wanted "pretty and matchy." Haha...I still laugh out loud when I think about those instructions. Anyway, Jamie has a natural talent for elevating people's spirits and always goes above and beyond. Like when I asked for a skateboard donation and she provided that...and 4 bottles of her magical elderberry syrup!!! Whoa.

With such a magical sponsor we needed a magical skateboard graphic, so the unicorn board was born. There is no doubt the sweet little girl who received this board will find it both pretty and matchy. Thanks, again, Jamie for everything and I look forward to our next spirit-elevating adventure.

Sincerely,

SPM

December 28 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #2

The Second Skateboard Donation

When creating a system to donate skateboards to local kids, 4Missoula set up a couple rules that we think will make the process more effective, and one of these rules was that (aside from a regular design-proofing process where versions of the skateboard go back and forth with the Sponsor) before any publication of the skateboard is disseminated the recipient of the board is the first person to see it...so as not to dilute the effect. So, now that Christmas presents have been delivered it's time to share these boards with the world.

The "Second Skateboard Donation" was made possible by my long-time friend, Mike Eiseman and his fantastic burrito shop, El Diablo. Mike and I go way back, but it's been a few years since we caught up; nevertheless, when I reached out to see if Mike would be interested in donating he was immediately on-board. In chatting with Mike it's evident that he understands the importance of helping the community and he mentioned that while these gifts seem small to us they are a really big deal to the kids. My sentiments exactly.

It's a wonderful thing to be able to reconnect with old friends and how fitting that during the Holidays these connections are here to help bring good cheer and awesome presents to the kids in our community. Thank you so much, Mike, and I hope you (and everyone) is able to stay stoked this holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Sincerely,

SPM

December 5 Newsletter

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Skateboard Donation #1

The First Skateboard Donation

Yesterday, on a mild Sunday afternoon, before season's first significant snow flurries flew, we ventured down the Bitterroot to donate a skateboard to a little ripper in Stevensville, MT who dreams of writing code and designing video games. The board, named after its sponsor, Ryan Wuttke, features two rare creatures - the white lion and the giant squid. As I mentioned in a Facebook post, Ryan is an elusive creature himself and has an undeniably "brilliant heart." Although I asked for his donation over instant messenger I get the feeling that he agreed without hesitation. That's just the kind of guy Ryan is. He gives without questioning and is so positive and optimistic and so dang funny too. To be able to design a custom board for Ryan was a wonderful opportunity and then to donate it to such a deserving young skater...well, that's just icing on the cake.

So, here's to the first skateboard donation. Thank you Ryan for making it possible and I hope everyone gets a chance to recognize (and hug) all those lovely creatures in our lives that make it all such an amazing treat. 

Sincerely,

SPM

November 29 Newsletter

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Skatepark Mark and the first skateboard design
The time has finally arrived to donate some skateboards. Over the past year and a half the nonprofit organization of 4Missoula has been busy establishing itself with organizational documents, branding campaigns, and a couple fundraising initiatives. Now, we are at a point where we can provide skateboards to at-risk and low-income kids in Western Montana...the fruits of our labor. There are so many people to thank and so many opportunities to connect our community and so many directions to go in that it's hard to know where to start. So, let's just not think about it and begin, or as I, Skatepark Mark, like to say, "we'll just work it out on the way down."

Pictured here is me (SPM) with the first vinyl graphic application. With the help of Chris at Edge of the World and Tyler at Big Bear Sign Co. we were able to get 40 skateboards and custom graphics. The idea with the "Charity Deck" (pictured here) is that this board will not be a donation, rather will be available for sale with 100% of the proceeds going back into the drive to provide other FREE skateboards for kids. The progress of this movement will be tracked, documented, and likely communicated through a different (or maybe the same) newsletter. Hopefully folks will purchase a board and help the cause. It's truly a win/win.

This board is classified as "merchandise" and in the next couple of weeks the 4Missoula.com website will facilitate the purchase of this board (and eventually other types of merchandise), but for now, if you're interested in purchasing your own Charity Deck, simply email mark@4Missoula.com and we'll get you hooked up!

Everything with 4Missoula is a work in progress. We're learning all about what works and what doesn't and through all the challenges, and this applies to life, the most important thing to remember is to do it all with love. I firmly believe that no matter what we do if we do it with love we can't go wrong. So, with that I'll wrap up the first 4Missoula newsletter and I can't wait to send out the next, which will likely include the first "Donation Deck." It's going to be so sweet. :)

Thanks to everyone involved.

Sincerely,

SPM