LONG BRANCH, NJ - Every year skateboarders around the globe celebrate pure exhilaration, creativity and spirit by blowing off all other obligations to go skateboarding.

This year on June 19th, as part of International Go Skateboarding Day, the best of the Jersey Shore Skateboarders competed at SkatePlex, Monmouth County Park, Long Branch, NJ to support The Shana Foundation, which works to prevent deaths and disabilities in children and young adults from Bacterial Meningitis.

The SkatePlex skateboarding park opened in 2004. A small core group of Friday night indoor skateboarders was stoked to begin skateboarding at the new park after the Eatontown roller rink closed just as SkatePlex was about to start construction in 2003.  Even before SkatePlex was completed, the skaters were jumping the construction fence. That original core group of boarders was at the park for The Shana Skate Jam, the first ever Jersey Shore Skateboarding Competition.

The “Jersey Shore Dinosaurs of Skateboarding” competed in the 18 and over division; Steve Shultheis was the animated moderator, Jon Edwards was the videographer and Mike Nesci, was the contest director and founder of Instinct Skateboards.  They all reminisced about the construction of the Monmouth County Skateboarding Park and shared in the excitement of the sport they introduced to the Jersey Shore.

Geoff Glaundt, who works at Bare Wires Surf and Skate, the lead sponsor and host of the Shana Skate Jam, was one of the original boarders at the park and one of the original Friday night skaters. He recalled, “None of the skateboarders could skate this park when it was first built.  We had to learn new tricks together, all over again, on The Hubba, The Cheese Wedge, The Quarter Pipe and The Pyramid that Monmouth County Parks built for us.”

Thankfully, the skating competition that the core group dreamed for their park was also a vision for a community awareness event organized by The Shana Foundation. Bare Wires along with Volcom, Nike, Ergo, Instinct, Atwater, Sunsweet, Vans, ProTec, Emerica, ES, Spellbinders, Lightly Salted, Stokaboka Skate, Liberation Skate, Garden State Skate, Shaka and Summa Luv Surf Camp loaded up the skaters with prizes and free gear. Volcom fresh pressed free hats with choice of logos.

The day rocked with Woodfish and Loose Fit playing music to pump up the competitors and the crowds. Sunsweet's organic juices Gourmet Barbeque's grilled meats were enjoyed by all as were the fresh cooling ocean breeze and the first weekend of summer.

For more information about the Shana Foundation, watch the video “Knowledge Is Power” at www.TheShanaFoundation.org

The next events for The Shana Foundation include the Ocean Mile Swim on August 1st and the Surf Jam on October 1st. Both will be held in Monmouth Beach. The Metedeconk Golf Outing will take place on September 16th. All are welcome! For details and online registration, go to TheShanaFoundation.org