The grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for Branford’s new skate park in Hatch Park was held Saturday, Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. attracting around 100 people with high spirits. These included several members of Branford Town Council, Suwannee County commissioners, town folks, out of town folks, a few onlookers and of course some serious skateboard enthusiasts whose wait is now over since the completion of the park’s Phase 1 on Jan. 18.
According to Branford Health and Fitness owner Bill Procko, who found grants and raised money towards the park’s construction for the better part of a year, said kids were already out there taking test runs, one week prior to grand opening. He didn’t have the heart to turn them away.
Just before the ribbon cutting, Procko began by thanking those who contributed to the park’s construction, aptly named Procko Skate Park, in the way of money, service or supplies. He prefaced by apologizing for forgetting if he left someone out.
“I want to thank first and foremost the town council in Branford,” said Procko. “I can’t believe how easy it was in the time frame of less than a year when I first went before them about this project to today, to what we have right behind us. It’s just amazing.”
Some of the people he thanked included Suwannee American Cement Company for donating dirt, BP Oil and Scaff’s food stores for a $5,000 grant, The Tony Hawk Foundation for $5,000 contingent upon the preceding $5,000 to match.
“While we’re on the subject of the press which is just huge is the Suwannee Democrat which has written several articles about the process we’ve been going through that has helped us with more donations,” said Procko. “Thank you for really getting the word out about this project.”