1999 Texas Skate Jam

Annual demo benefits ailing kids.On November 6 the annual Texas Skate Jam took place at South Side Indoor Skatepark in Houston. The event, now in its third year, benefits the Texas Gulf Coast chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a charity that grants wishes to children with life-threatening ailments.

Damian Hebert of South Shore Distributing has been organizing the Skate Jam since its inception three years ago. Wanting to help kids, he called the Make-A-Wish Foundation and was told that he had to donate at least 50 percent of the moneys raised at any events using the charity's name, but Hebert has been donating 100 percent of the proceeds from the Skate Jams.

The 1999 Texas Skate Jam wouldn't be possible without help from others: Tommy Mixon of South Side Indoor Skatepark donated the facilities for the day; a local record/skate shop, Sound Waves, contacted local radio stations to get the word out; Brent Callahan of Systems Distribution came out from California to work the door; and, of course, all the skaters and photographers who showed up made this special event a success.

Though only 80 skaters were formally invited, about 150 riders and about 700 spectators packed the indoor skatepark. Several teams made the Texas Skate Jam a destination: Accel., Arcade, Black Label, Element, Lethol, New Deal, Planet Earth, Real, Rhythm, Santa Cruz, Stereo, and Think.

The event started with sessions on the vert and mini ramps, and proceeded to the street course while a local band and two local DJs produced the music. “Gershon Mosley was definitely amazing,” says Hebert. “And Mike V. was barreling through the place like it was his own.”

Approximately 10,000 dollars were raised from ticket sales alone, with the grand total this year coming to just over 13,000 dollars thanks to additional donations from Sole Technology, Shannon Surf and Sport, Shannon Street Waves, and Rock Star Games. To date, the Texas Skate Jam has raised over 26,000 dollars for Make-A-Wish and helped make a few kids' dreams come true. “Our goal is to get at least one wish for a kid per year,” says Hebert.

Next year he would like to see a skateboard brand assume the title sponsorship so that the Texas Skate Jam can expand and continue to stand as a shining example of what skateboarding alone can do for kids.

The 2000 Texas Skate Jam is set for the weekend of November 4. For more information, contact Damian Hebert at South Shore Distributing at: (713) 926-3295.