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Proceeds will benefit Grind for Life, which supports cancer patients and families

COURTESY PHOTO - The fundraiser takes place 2-7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3 at Tanner Creek skate park and will benefit Grind for Life, a nonprofit offering financial support to cancer patients and their families. Skateboarders quickly rising within the national skating scene, as well as local amateur skaters, will convene at Tanner Creek skate park Saturday, Sept. 3 for the 20th annual Skate for Cancer event benefiting Grind for Life.

Grind for Life was founded by professional skateboarder and two-time cancer survivor Mike Rogers in 2003. The organization provides financial assistance to cancer patients and their families for medical and travel expenses, as well as inspiration and education regarding cancer survival and recovery.

Saturday's event, which will have competitions by age group each hour from 2-7 p.m., is organized by Ratical Films, which produces short films on skiing and skateboarding.

Local skating legends, including Jay "Smay" Williamson of West Linn, will judge the skating.

There will be no cost to skate at the event, but tickets to win raffle prizes like skateboards, stickers, shirts, trucks, wheels and other skating items cost $5. Kaleb Brusa of Ratical Films said local skate shops had so far donated $2,000 in skate equipment for the raffle.

Even though there is a trophy for each age group, Brusa called Skate for Cancer more of a "nontest." There will be music playing, and each age group has an hour to enjoy skating, he explained.

Brusa said he wants Skate for Cancer to support Grind for Life but also to promote the young skaters he's gotten to know through filming.

"I want to get these kids recognized, because they're really good and it's a very legendary skate park," he said.

Brusa said that in California, skateparks as renowned as Tanner Creek would charge people $12 to skate.

Brusa wants Saturday's fundraiser to mimic the "Oregon Trifecta" of decades past, when some of the world's best skaters would skate three of the state's best parks including Tanner Creek.

Tyler Harmon of the West Linn Parks and Recreation Department is excited for the event because it will benefit a great cause like Grind for Life while also bringing a different crowd than most of the park's department's other events.

"I think it's great to promote an event that's specifically for teenagers and is fun and engaging," Harmon said. "It's for kids who might have an inkling of passion for skateboarding, and can help them find a community."

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