Tony Hawk helps communities


Celebrities Giving Back by Kayleen Reusser


Recently, while talking to a 4th grade class about my nine children’s books , I told them about my book Celebrities Giving Back to encourage them to serve as volunteers. I told them about one example from the book, a famous skateboarder named Tony Hawk.

As most kids in this class had heard of Tony Hawk, I’ve posted this excerpt from Celebrities Giving Back for them. Tony Hawk is admirable for establishing a foundation to help people. His involvement in the lives of others warranted his inclusion in the book which lists 16 other famous people who have helped people with time, effort, and money.

This book is special to me because I work with a group called Stitches of Hope that gives away beautiful, soft crocheted/knitted caps to people who lose hair from cancer and other illnesses. Learn more about us at

A cap made by a Stitches of Hope volunteer, given to someone with a medical need.

What could you do to help someone today? If you are a volunteer, please let me know what it is you do and the name of the group and I’ll mention it here. You can be a great volunteer at any age! 


(from Celebrities Giving Back by Kayleen Reusser):

When Tony Hawk was given a skateboard at age nine, no one could have predicted how that piece of equipment would affect his life. Over the next few years, he perfected his athletic skills with the board. By age 16, Tony had won enough skateboarding competitions to qualify him as the best skateboarder in the world. More important, at the skate park, he found friends and an outlet for exercise and self-expression.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, Hawk became the face of skateboarding, especially when he completed the first 900 in 1999. The 900 is an aerial spin on a skateboard, rotating 2-1/2 times, then landing on the board upright. Hawk’s fame increased when a series of video games featuring his unique moves was released.

Twenty years after Hawk received his first skateboard, the sport had more than 13 million participants in the United States. Unfortunately, the construction of skate parks has not kept up with the sport’s popularity. By 2010, approximately 3,000 skate parks were available in the United States. Lacking suitable places to practice, most skaters ride wherever they can, including streets and parking lots.

In 2002 Hawk organized the Tony Hawk Foundation, which encourages the construction of skate parks in towns and cities across the country. “It doesn’t take long for cities to realize their modest skate parks get more use than the local tennis courts or baseball fields,” he says.

(end of excerpt)


I’m interested in speaking to students in schools and libraries. Please let me know if you would like more information for your group.

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