The best way to experience the 4Missoula donation train is by reading the newsletter, written by Skatepark Mark. In each letter he presents the skateboard and tells a little about how the skateboard sponsorship came to be. It’s a nice, feel-good thing. And just to make it more fun…

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June 7 Newsletter

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The Fifty-Ninth Skateboard Donation

Thank you to the fabulous Emmie Purcell, who I sometimes refer to as Skatepark Mom, for the 59th skateboard donation. A couple years back Emmie's Dad, Joe, heard about the skateboard drive and wanted to help out. He says to me, "Skatepark Mark, I have Christmas trees for you and the kids." Now, I'm all about opportunity and keeping an open mind, but I was still trying to wrap my head around a Christmas tree fundraiser. 

In keeping things kid-centric, I invited the Youth Homes to visit Joe's ranch up Mill Creek for an afternoon of tree cutting and hot chocolate. We had a crew of about ten and after a delightful time the trailer was full of trees, which were sold in the Wagner's Home Furnishings parking lot for $300 or two skateboard donations!

  


We did it, and to commemorate this fine event, the Joe Purcell Christmas Tree skateboard was created and donated. Thanks, Emmie and Joe, and I look forward to our next creative undertaking.

Sincerely,

SPM

May 9 Newsletter

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The Fifty-Eighth Skateboard Donation

HUGE thanks to Mike Eiseman, owner of El Diablo, for the 58th skateboard donation. This was the second skateboard donated by Mike, the first being (and I'm freaking out looking back at when that was) 4Missoula's second skateboard donation on December 7, 2016! It's crazy how time flies.

El Diablo, in a name, provides endless opportunity for a badass graphic. As I perused Devil artwork, from the last 2000+ years, in search of commonalities that might be included in a sweeping design, I wavered between scary and cute. With inklings of Tarot and retro Valentine’s Day, I presented Mike with a couple devilish designs, but they just weren’t on brand…and I knew it.

The agreed-upon design was sort of a contingency plan gone wild. I used Google Maps to get a street view of the restaurant and then, with the simplest screencap, grabbed a picture and tweaked it around in Photoshop and Illustrator to shake out an artistic view of the shop. And it worked! The design uses a wonderful coral color and a superimposed sign for a clean, warm, and inviting look.

Once again, thank you to Mike and El Diablo for their second skateboard donation and, of course, thank you for the wonderful food provided to our community that is always on-point and always delish.

Sincerely,

SPM

PARTNERS


March 15 Newsletter

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The Fifty-Seventh Skateboard Donation

Park Side coming clutch once again. Thanks to Jeremy Presta and the entire wonderful team at Park Side Credit Union for the skateboard donation. I, of course, bank at Park Side and couldn't be more happy with them. Their staff is simply the best, they greet everyone with a smile, they know me by name, and that kind of service starts at the very top.

As the first skateboard donation of 2019 (emerging from winter's slumber), this hopefully marks the beginning of a strong and powerful donation train for the year. Now all's we need is this snow to melt and the shredfest will commence.

Thank you, once again, to PSCU for making this donation happen and for being such a great member of the community.

Sincerely,

SPM

January 24 Newsletter

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The Fifty-Fifth Skateboard Donation

Special thanks to the great one, Jeremy Presta, President of Park Side Credit Union, for this skateboard donation - the second donated by the bank. Jer and I go way back and it's great to have these fun, modern initiatives here to help keep us connected, while also serving the communities we both love so much.

All these newsletters are warehoused on the 4Missoula website under the Community tab (for the time being) and if you scroll way down you'll find Park Side's first skateboard donation at #18. This jamming board was hard to improve upon, but I'm very pleased with how the new one turned out. Like before, the Park Side logo remains centerpiece, yet this year's design is less splattery and more refined with a simple grid pattern and a subtle wave effect.

With a name like "Park Side" this partnership has always seemed like a perfect fit and I'm excited to see what we do next. Thanks, again, Jeremy and Park Side for the #55 skateboard donation and the many other things you do, everyday, to improve this place we call home.

Sincerely,

SPM

November 29 Newsletter

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The Fifty-Second Skateboard Donation

HUGE thanks to my old neighbors, Char and Ariana, for the fifty-second skateboard donation. The design for this board came from Char and represents the military divisions he served with. Listening to Char explain what these logos represent is truly mind-blowing. While their designs are simple, the bonds and memories associated with each are more than simple, they are riveting.

I find this board so compelling and while Char suggests the recipient provide an essay on what these symbols mean (probably not going to hold the young chap to that), I am certainly going to circle back and quiz him, as I will hopefully be buffed up by then. To help us all understand the symbols, here are some online resources: 25th Infantry Division - Tropic Lightning, 35th Infantry Regiment - The Cacti, and the Combat Infantry Badge.

Thank you so much Char for your past and present service, for while you have served our country, you also continue to provide crucial education...and now skateboards!!! Youdaman, Char!!!

Sincerely,

SPM

November 2 Newsletter

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The Fifty-First Skateboard Donation

What more can I say about Patrick Carls, except that he’s AWESOME!!! Patrick is the owner of Five Guys Burgers and Fries here in Missoula (and many other communities) and has now donated 3 skateboards to 4Missoula and has also hosted a 4Missoula Community Night at Five Guys where we raised another $245 for the skateboard drive. Here are a couple pics from that event:

       

I see Five Guys on a lot of benefit programs around town, which confirms their commitment to the community and their generous way of being. What’s more, Five Guys has been very well-received by Missoula since their opening - everyone I talk to loves Five Guys, including the young skater who received this skateboard!!!

There’s just something about the simplicity of the Five Guys brand. It doesn’t require much to be effective. Coupled with the deliciousness of their burgers, the mere reference of the restaurant evokes joy; when my step-daughter saw the Five Guys board she instantly loved it and I think it’s more of an association thing.

Patrick, thank you so much, not only the skateboard donation, but also for the opportunity to be part of the Five Guys effect. It’s a tasty enterprise.

Sincerely,

SPM

October 11 Newsletter

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The Fiftieth Skateboard Donation

In my world, as long as there has been extreme sports there has been Lance Koch. From a YWCA kid’s skate camp, where Lance and I were literally the only kids at (as I recall they just dropped us off at the Kiwanis Park tennis court and said have fun), to burly, super-sick skiing, where Lance has always been a standout, if there’s an envelope to be pushed you can bet Lance is the one sending it.

These days Lance sells real estate with Berkshire Hathaway here in Missoula, takes amazing photos of the beautiful outdoor locations he finds when hiking or biking in Western Montana (just check out his page on the BHHSMT web page, linked above, to behold the awesomeness), and is raising three beautiful daughters…to be just as rad as their dad.

The Lance Koch skateboard design uses the old Tony Hawk Powell-Peralta theme with Lance’s own ski goggles and signature included. I played around with some busy plaid backgrounds, but once I tried just the solid black there was no going back!!!

It means a lot to have one of the pioneers of outdoor adventure donate a board. I only hope the lucky kid who received the Lance Koch can harness the powers therein and continue Lance’s rich tradition of bringing a higher level of stoke (than anyone even knew was possible) to every occasion. Thanks, Lance, you are a true living legend, man.

Sincerely,

SPM

October 5 Newsletter

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The Forty-Ninth Skateboard Donation

In combination with the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers skateboard, donated on behalf of his company, Land Tawney also donated personally with this board…The Land Tawney.

Having known Land for over 30 years, the memories span decades and many phases of life. From adolescent camping trips with our dads to bachelor party camping trips with our friends, being outdoors in Montana has always been the underlying theme and is something we both hold in high regard.

Perusing Land’s online photo albums it’s obvious that he loves his wife and kids and he loves his dog, yet to ensure board appeal to a random skater grom I decided to focus on the outdoors we both love and a couple animals that remind me of Land. So, we have a mule to represent the mules that Land’s dad, Phil, used to own and we have a blue grouse because Land loves to hunt birds. Also included is a photo that Land took himself of arrowleaf balsamroot – a very Montana-ish plant.

Thank you so much for the skateboard donations, Land. Not only have we hooked a couple great kids up with sweet, custom boards but we’ve also enshrined our beloved Montana outdoors, so the future can know what’s been important to us all along.

Sincerely,

SPM

September 27 Newsletter

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The Forty-Eighth Skateboard Donation

What more perfect skateboard could there possibly be than the Sugar Daddy? Last year my friend John Lewis donated the 36th skateboard and this year his wife, Melissa, has joined the party and provided this cute and fun skateboard.

Melissa’s donation was a wonderful surprise; it’s always nice to see those emails come through indicating that someone has visited the website and donated a board. Upon reaching out to Melissa to thank her and inquire about design possibilities, she simply suggested Sugar Daddy – her favorite type of candy. It was so easy and effortless, which makes me think that using a donor’s favorite candy is always a brilliant go-to.

While the concept was effortless, re-creating the Sugar Daddy logo was difficult. Graphics from that pre-computer era are simply the best and were done by true artists, thus it was a real test to re-create the logo with all its subtle curves and outlines. It’s interesting how you can begin with something quite exorbitant and, through the revision process, end up with something that, at first glance, appears scant. It’s only until you try to replicate it that you realize how refined and lavish simplistic designs can actually be.

Thank you so much for the skateboard donation, Melissa. It was more than sweet, it was perfect.

Sincerely,

SPM

September 21 Newsletter

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The Forty-Seventh Skateboard Donation

Land Tawney is a life-long friend who I share many fond memories with. Some of my favorites, and I bet his as well, were from the pack trips we used to take with our dads into such revered wilderness areas as the Bob Marshall, Frank Church - River of No Return, and Yellowstone Park. Along with my brother, Matt, and his sister, Mikal, we kids experienced everything from whiskey (thought it was iced tea - boy was I wrong) to one extraordinarily awesome, and rowdy as hell, horse race across a mountain meadow, which we still talk about to this day!!!

Land is now the President/CEO of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, an organization based here in Missoula, who's "taking a leadership role in advocating for the conservation of wild places" so future generations of hunters and anglers will have somewhere to hunt and fish in a natural setting. Considering the persistent threat of development, it's reassuring to know that Land and BHA is here fighting to preserve the opportunity for "hunting deep in the backcountry or fishing on a remote river."

While BHA and 4Missoula are dedicated to different "wild places" we're both here to ensure the future a better place for everyone. Thank you, so much, to Land and the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers for the skateboard donation, which, in its own little way, serves to empower...We the People.

Sincerely,

SPM

August 17 Newsletter

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The Forty-Sixth Skateboard Donation

Skateboarding and fashion are intrinsically entwined, almost to the point where they’re indistinguishable, and while each skater is on a quest for individual style the collective prides itself on a certain look which separates it from the rest of the population. Whether clothes or shoes or hairdos (depicted below), skateboarding has always been in a class of its own.



The 80’s and 90’s were a heyday for skateboarding and one of the premiere brands during that time was Vision Street Wear. As a very impressionable middle schooler, I remember how cool donning VSW garb made me feel. The fact that I could hardly skate was irrelevant. What was important was that I was aligned with a movement that included all my friends…and excluded my parents.
 
In reflection, Vision Street Wear was part of a coming of age tale, and while the forty-sixth skateboard sponsor, Keith Dery, and I attended different middle schools our influences were largely the same. Thus, when Keith mentioned that he wanted to do a Vision Street Wear board I understood exactly where he was coming from.
 
The VSW board is Keith’s third skateboard donation and it’s always a pleasure to design his boards. With our congruent upbringings I’m aligned with the essence of his vision and appreciate the trip down memory lane. Thank you so much, Keith, for the opportunity to re-introduce our style to these distinguished kids.

Sincerely,

SPM

August 8 Newsletter

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The Forty-Fifth Skateboard Donation

The opportunity to honor the past and pay tribute to the loving mothers who came before us is a true blessing. The 45th skateboard donation is a tribute board for 4Missoula Vice President William Greely's mom, Becky Smartt, who passed away in June of 2017 after a short battle with cancer.



Becky worked for 20 years as a clerk at the Missoula Municipal Court and when I wasn't seeing her there (don't judge haha) I would see Becky at her home where she would invariably have something delicious coming out of the oven. William's mom was also pretty hip - she would greet me with a lovely and sincere "Hello, Skatepark Mark".

Considering that Becky was a big University of Montana Grizzlies fan and, coupled with her motherly ways, Mama Bear seemed like a great fit for her board. She's on a cloud looking down on us kids and when I think of William's mom (and the way he cared about her), I also included the word "Love" in the design because it simply says it all.

There's a quote from the Dalai Lama, "Love is the absence of judgement" and that's exactly how I felt around Becky. Despite running into her "downtown" under less-than-ideal circumstances, she always seemed delighted to see me and I'm grateful for the kindness she provided this world and bestowed in William, as he is also one of the most genuinely kind people I've ever known. And while we lost a loving mother, we gained a legacy of love and that's going to make the world a better place.

Thank you so much for the skateboard donation, William.

Sincerely,

Skatepark Mark

June 29 Newsletter

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The Forty-Fourth Skateboard Donation

How incredible is it that someone living in Vancouver, WA, with little or no ties to Montana, would donate a skateboard?!! Shaun O'Malley, a real blast from the past, is an acquaintance from yesteryear who I got to know when our girlfriends, at the time, were best friends. Shaun always struck me as a very caring person who would go out of his way to make people feel comfortable and part of whatever was going on; it was like a warm embrace being around this dude.

Another trait I noticed in Shaun was his progressive, next-level thinking. One day, while sitting around watching television, Shaun mentioned that in the future we would be able to buy everything on the screen with the click of a button - the evolution of product-placement. This was at a time when the world was getting used to Amazon and the potential for doorstep delivery, and here was Shaun, a car salesman, watching a show (among a bunch of marketing majors) and seeing it for what it was...a marketing campaign. This kind of awareness is special and the ability to see what's really going on made Shaun a perfect candidate for a skateboard sales pitch. So I messaged him on Facebook (out of the blue) and there was never a doubt. He wanted to be a part of this, but more-so he just wanted to help me help my community.

Thank you so much, Shaun, for the skateboard donation and hey, these girls might be gone, but we're still here making amazing things happen. Ta-dow!!!

Sincerely,

SPM

June 14 Newsletter

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The 37th-43rd Skateboard Donation

Another HUGE THANK YOU to Tami, owner of the Iron Horse Bar & Grill, for donating this group of 7 skateboards!!! These boards have been given to kids in Missoula, the Bitterroot Valley, and one even traveled back east to Circle, MT. Considering this proliferation (we have little skate team here) there's a good chance that if you visit the skatepark in Stevensville you'll see one of these boards in action!!!

Speaking of skateboards in the Bitterroot, a large percentage of the donations thus far have gone to kids down there...yes, I said down there. I understand there is a long-standing debate on whether it's up the Bitterroot or down the Bitterroot and, for whatever reason, I'm one of those people who says, "down the Bitterroot" and I don't see any indication of that changing haha. In any case, the skateparks in Stevensville, Darby, and soon-to-be Hamilton have invigorated the sport and skaters are coming out of the woodwork!!!

With all these new amazing skate destinations, Skatepark Mark will definitely be taking this show on the road and hopefully capturing some iPhone footage of these groms shredding!!! To get an idea of what these vids might look like, please consider following Skatepark Mark on Twitter or checking out the SPM YouTube channel. With this delightful weather, video content is being added almost everyday!!!

It's only because of wonderful, community-minded businesses like the Iron Horse that our mission to equip underprivileged skaters with boards and helmets has a chance of reaching our goal of 365 donations. We've made a pretty good dent so far and by channeling the spirit of the mighty railroaders, who helped shape our great state, we'll surely push on through. Thank you so much, Tami, for being a driving force on this donation train.

Sincerely,

SPM

April 26 Newsletter

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The Thirty-Sixth Skateboard Donation

His room was in the basement. It was musky down there smelling of Right Guard deodorant. Shadowy artifacts, mostly hand-me-downs from the 1980s, cluttered the cavernous dwelling. John Lewis was my neighbor growing up and I always loved to visit his basement lair and soak up as much influence from his older siblings, Mick, Matt, and Amy, as I could. John and I played video games on a ColecoVision and shot hoops with a Nerf door-hanging basketball hoop. We were fascinated with sports stars from that era and I still crack up recalling one of our favs, former Atlanta Braves catcher Biff Pocoroba.

We were indeed blossoming jocks and our mentors instilled an '80s vibe deep within us that beats strong to this day. And so the John Lewis board honors two of his sports heroes, two players whose unique styles defined them and were emulated by John every time we played either football or basketball. One half Karl Malone and the other half John Elway. Both legends and both superstars.

These days John lives in Helena with his beautiful family and I wonder if his kids will carry on the tradition of participating in athletics. If they choose emulate their father the legacy of goofy sports stars will continue - John's a bit of a goofball and is, without a doubt, a superstar.

Thank you, John, for the skateboard donation, and thank you to Mick, Matt, and Amy for showing us kids what it means to be cool.

Sincerely,

SPM

April 19 Newsletter

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The Thirty-Fifth Skateboard Donation

HUGE THANK YOU to the wonderful community of Missoula and everyone who participated in the 2nd annual Horseshoe Bonanza, which paid for this donation. While many of my designs are an instant hit with the sponsor, there are those rare cases where my idea doesn't align with the sponsor's idea and the design goes in a different direction...as was the case with this board.

Mountain Goats Over Bozo was rejected on the grounds that mountain goats didn't resonate with the sponsor (or maybe it's just a bad design, idk), yet I love mountain goats and, being a Capricorn, have always had an affinity towards these burly mountain creatures, so the board was created anyway, and donated on December 19th to a very deserving little girl.

The Horseshoe Bonanza was on hiatus last year, but here's a link to the photo page in case anyone wants to take a trip down memory lane - https://www.4missoula.com/horseshoe-bonanza/. It was a chilly day, from what I can remember, but we braved the cold, had fun, and made the Mountain Goats Over Bozo board happen. 

Thanks for being burly mountain beasts with me, Missoula.

Sincerely,

SPM

April 12 Newsletter

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The Thirty-Fourth Skateboard Donation

The backstory with this skateboard donation is extensive and began last year when I began the process of finding a house. For years I had been living with my mom, who suffered a major stroke in 2000 and needed a bit of care-giving, but she also had a sweet house, so it wasn't like I was hating life. Anyway, the time had come to relocate and not knowing where to start I went with what the commercials on TV were telling me to do...Rocket Mortgage. 

It surprised me to find out that I qualified for a home loan, but I did and Rocket Mortgage matched me with a real estate agent named Rob LaBrie. Being very new to selling real estate, Rob was learning the market as was I and after a number of weekend excursions we came to understand the market and each other to some degree. Rob's background is in teaching and coaching football, thus the board that he promised to donate if we found a house, has a football theme. We were also in the midst of a brutal fire season, so I included a bit of forest fire in there too.

Ultimately, a house was purchased, a skateboard was donated, and while Rocket Mortgage missed out on the lending opportunity (their business model must account for the fact that once a local agent is designated a local lender will likely ensue - they get a referral fee I believe) they did match Rob and I up and allowed for this artistic board to be created.

Thank you so much for the skateboard donation, Rob. You're a gem of a real estate agent and I still get a kick out of you calling me, "Sir."

Sincerely,

SPM

March 29 Newsletter

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The Thirty-Third Skateboard Donation

Tom Leonard not only hikes Montana's trails in absolute beast mode (the most impressive hiker I've ever seen), he's also extremely generous and engages others with an open-mindedness that is refreshing and invigorating. While not a skater, in the slightest, Tom casually agreed to donate a skateboard with a nonchalant-ness that leaves no indication of his ferocity on the trail.

The Tom Leonard was designed with a photo taken by Tom himself of Cracker Lake in Glacier National Park - the crown jewel American hiking. I was fortunate enough to hike Piegan Pass with Tom last summer and presented him with a couple shots from that hike, but it was Cracker Lake that was the ideal backdrop for Tom's GNP skateboard. Here's a pic from our hike (Tom's on the left).

   

Thank you so much for the skateboard donation, Tom. To have such an unassuming powerhouse in our corner is a great thing and it's an honor to have your help on this mission.

Sincerely,

SPM

March 15 Newsletter

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The Thirty-Second Skateboard Donation

It's been a few months since the last newsletter, but the donation train hasn't stopped. HUGE THANKS to Tami and the Iron Horse Bar and Grill for this beautiful pumpkin-colored board.



If memory serves, this skateboard was donated to a jovial young chap from Corvallis who greeted me with sprighty "hi Skatepark Mark" (so cute). With all the new skatepark developments in the Bitterroot this young fella has options galore...and a great attitude to approach them with!!!

I want to take this opportunity to spotlight the 4Missoula website and encourage everyone quickly visit 4Missoula.com and browse around for a bit. While donations are always appreciated, there are so many other ways to take part in this fun-filled adventure.

Once again, thank you to Tami and the Iron Horse for the "October" skateboard and all the wonderful opportunities it provides.

Sincerely,

SPM

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 

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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