Saturday skate park contest, concert sponsored by Light of the City Ministry, SPPD
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: December 04, 2013
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Times
Youth from throughout Santa Paula, Piru, Fillmore and Ventura are invited to a mega Skateboard Expo & Contest featuring a famed pro-skater and a noted rap group Saturday at Veterans Memorial Park.
The free December 7 event, co-sponsored by the Santa Paula Police Department and the Light of the City Ministry, will be from 1 to 4 p.m. at the park, located at the corner of 10th and Ventura streets.
According to SPPD Chief Steve McLean, the event will feature pro-skater Mike Steinkamp and rapper Dr. Robert Ornelas & SOG Crew.
Ornelas, said McLean, “Is pretty big. He’s performed for the prime minister of Israel and he has a record out. I have heard him.... I’m not a big rapper guy but yes, he’s very talented.”
Saturday’s event will offer free hotdogs, chips and drinks to attendees, and a skateboard contest for all ages.
Those participating in the contest must wear safety gear including helmet, elbow and kneepads; underage skates must have a waiver signed by a parent.
There will be prizes for the best skaters and free raffle drawings offering lots of items.
The idea behind the event said McLean is, “To bring youth together,” for an afternoon of friendly competition, music and skateboard demonstrations.
Pastor Adelita Garza of Puente De Vida Church (Bridge of Life) located on South 8th Street said Light of the City Ministry is a new collaboration of churches whose “Heart is to organize projects that provide a positive environment for kids and families, a way to extend out and away from the violence that has been occurring in our city to build community.”
Garza said since the emphasis of the event was youth it was important to find something that would attract the younger crowd and realizing the popularity of the skateboard park tying the two together was ideal.
“We thought let’s find a professional skater,” and a search of the web led organizers to Steinkamp, who has a skate ministry.
Although based in South Carolina Garza said Steinkamp is not only going to be the featured attraction at Saturday’s event but he will also, “Be speaking to the Bible Club at Santa Paula High School.”
Ornelas was McLean’s contribution: “I received a call from Chief McLean who knew we were putting this together and he was meeting with Dr. Ornelas in his office and said he would be willing to come.”
Garza said McLean told her, “He had this headliner Christian rapper willing to come free of charge who would be a blessing, a gift of encouragement to the community of Santa Paula, that his appearance stemmed from his own interest in community.”
Ornelas, who Garza said is running for California governor, will also be addressing her congregation.
Saturday’s event is expected to draw hundreds: “Our goal was 250 to 300 youth and adults but we’ve seen it growing. This is our first event and we’ve actually gone out to schools in Fillmore and Piru,” encouraging attendance.
Garza noted, “Other cities are also being invited,” including Ventura where several churches have asked if their youth congregations can also take part.
“We have an open invitation to youth,” she said.
The upcoming event is the first for Light of the City Ministry.
“We’re real excited, it’s a collaboration of different churches in the area, the Santa Paula Police Department is co-sponsoring it and Spirit of Santa Paula was one of our partners. Businesses have donated to the event and we’re very excited.”
Light of the City Ministry is the name given to the collaboration of 14 local churches, a ministry that Garza said, “Is under the umbrella of the Police Clergy Ministry, the clergy council.
And one of the great things is the skate event is not the work of one church,” but many, and their interest in turn has attracted other churches.
“I believe,” the SPPD and churches said Garza, “are being an asset to one another.”