Boys & Girls Club youth earn skateboards and helmets for reading

Boys & Girls Club youth earn skateboards and helmets for reading

(St. Cloud, Minn. – June 25, 2021) Boys & Girls Club youth received an exciting delivery of skateboards and helmets last Friday, thanks to the generosity of Skate Unity and Project BrainSafe, CentraCare Neurosciences.  This was the culmination of a fundraising project that Mike Thienes started planning in December 2019.

Mike Thienes of RubinskiWorks organized Skate Unity in partnership with The Youth Shelter Supply and Bad Habit Brewing Company. Skate Unity is an art show and auction that was originally scheduled in 2020, but COVID closures forced a re-schedule of this event to February 24, 2021. The goal of this event was to raise enough money to purchase 25 complete skateboards for Boys & Girls Club youth.

“We want to encourage the next generation of youth to get outside, stay active and enjoy this great sport,” said Thienes. “So we partnered with the Boys & Girls Club to determine the best way to get skateboards in the hands of kids who would enjoy them. I have 23 years of skateboarding retail and have seen skateboarding positively change kids’ lives so many times. ”

CentraCare’s Project BrainSafe contributed 25 helmets to ensure youth safety whenever they are on their boards.

“On behalf of Project BrainSafe, I am proud to support to make sure our community’s youth have the protection they need so they can focus on having fun with the right equipment,” said Manny Ravelo, Program Coordinator for Project BrainSafe.

A total of 25 Boys & Girls Club youth across the three Clubs in St. Cloud earned their skateboards and helmets through their consistent participation in Summer Brain Gain, a program designed to prevent summer learning loss in youth. These youth earned points for their skateboards by reading independently and/or aloud to younger members.

“We are so thankful to Skate Unity and Project BrainSafe for providing a quality incentive program to support the academic success of our youth,” said Director of Clubs, Christine Kustelski. “This opportunity made our youth excited to accomplish their summer reading goals! Now, they are fueled to not only continue to develop their literacy skills, but to also lead active, healthy lifestyles.”

For more information about the Boys & Girls Club, please visit our website: or contact us at 320-252-7616.

About Skate Unity

We started SKATE UNITY in 2003 to raise awareness and money for a skatepark in St. Cloud.  After getting the skatepark in 2008-2009, we kept the event going, raising money to help kids skateboarding, funding Skate Camps at the park and giving to youth groups in the area.  Skate Unity brings together some talented local artists, puts on a great gallery event and raises money for local youth to enjoy skateboarding.

For more information about Skate Unity, contact Mike Thienes, RubinskiWorks at 320-493-9595.

About Project BrainSafe, CentraCare Neurosciences

Project BrainSafe is a community-wide collaborative that includes local medical providers, academic institutions, athletics, community partners, and patient advocates who are committed to improving the standard of care for concussions.

Our goal is to improve the recognition, diagnosis and management of concussions, otherwise known as mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI), for people of all ages living in Central Minnesota. For more information about Project BrainSafe, CentraCare Neurosciences, please contact Manny Ravelo, 320-229-5199 ext. 71088.