For the third consecutive year, the Celebration of Life Skateboard Competition took place at the Cortez Skate Park and as always, the event did not disappoint.
Held May 31, the suicide prevention event event attracted more than 30 competitors, who, riding skateboards, scooters and BMX bikes, performed a variety of complex tricks much to the delight of the home crowd.
When all was said and done, Levi Lingenselter was crowned champion in the “Advanced Skate” category, Anthony Chavez claimed top honors in the “Intermediate Skate” category, Ian Perez won the “Beginner Skate” category and Craig Bylilly placed first in the “BMX” category.
Final standings were only a small part of the story however, as free food was served, prizes were raffled off and several speakers discussed topics ranging from depression to suicide prevention.
Among the prizes raffled off were several custom-made skateboards, a base autographed by the band, “Great White” and several pictures.
Free lunch was also provided thanks to the Cortez Church of the Nazarene, which sponsored the event.
Discussing the importance of the competition, organizer, Melissa Moreno stated that educating individuals about suicide is key.
“If we start teaching them at this age, by the time they’re an adult, there is a less likely chance that they will try (suicide) themselves,” said Moreno. “They will know what signs to look for in their friends and family.”
In addition to the event’s educational importance, the competition served another important purpose.
“The competition helps kids get out,” said scooter and skateboard competitor, Adrian Mark. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Numerous sponsors, including Cortez Parks and Recreation, Axis Healthcare, Kokopelli Bike and Board, the Pinion Project and others helped make this year’s event possible.
“I lost my son and I don’t want to see anybody else hurt that way,” said Moreno. “I’m hoping to have this event every year.”