A little over a decade ago, my friends and I gathered our resources, jumped through all the grown-up hoops necessary, and built ourselves a skatepark — The Donuthill Project. Beyond surprising ourselves with one of the best designed, best executed, and best detailed things any of us had ever skated, we quickly realized the power of our collective abilities to move mountains in the name of fun.
A few years later, when our buddy Reggie Destin (R.I.P.) was mowed down by a drunk driver while skating home one night, we gathered our resources once again, focused our grief, and held a therapeutic skateboard race and carve contest in his name. All our friends and familiars came through with support and donations, and when the dust settled, we discovered that we had raised some funds—enough to buy a handful of complete skateboards for kids in our friend’s adopted hometown of Chicago. We thought Reggie would have been pleased. The Nebraska skate scene has never been huge, but it’s ALWAYS been self-supportive and solid. And, for some odd reason, that has drawn the attention of the outside world.
Back in 1982, in an attempt to plant the seeds of growth for a dormant skateboard scene, one Fausto Vitello (R.I.P) of Thrasher Magazine and Independent Trucks began a grass-roots campaign to spread the word of professional skateboarding. And when Fausto chose the relatively sleepy, conservative, Midwest town of Lincoln, Nebraska—and my friend Rich Flowerday’s backyard—as a jumping-off point for DIY skating, magazine content building, jam-session vert contests, and the joyous, creative, weird, traveling shitshow known as pro skateboarding, he not only changed lives, he saved lives and gave hundreds if not thousands of kids the idea that they could do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, just because they wanted. Fun, fun, fun, the Big Boys sang to us, and on we went with all those confident, self-reliant, little ideas in our heads.
And just like Donuthill, just like the unrelenting support from everyone we know—both local and global—the Reggie Destin Memorial Time Trials & Carve Contest has continued. And with our little successes, we began to look around for a way to return the favors that had been given to us. Following the DIY lead of Mark Hubbard (R.I.P.) Grindline Skateparks, Jeff Ament's Army, Jim Murphy, and Walt Pourier, and the aforementioned Fausto Vitello, we saw in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, a skate scene similar to the ’82 version of our own: passionate, excited, fun, life changing, and life saving.
And so for the fourth year in a row, in the name of fallen friends and fun, and with the generous support of friends, family, and our familiars in the skateboard world, Donuthill has been lucky enough to get our shit together, build a van full (30!) of complete skateboards to give away as prizes for the contest, and ready ourselves for a weekend of skateboarding, contest runs, camping, and catching up with our buddies in the coolest skate scene in the country—Pine Ridge, SD.
A million thanks again and again to all of our donors and a big personal thanks to all our friends for answering our humble call to action. You rule the nation. —Kevin Wilkins
A super limited run of shirts designed by Todd Bratrud will be exclusively available at the event, Saturday, November 30, for the cash 'n' carry price of 15 bucks. All proceeds raised will help Donuthill buy complete skateboards for the youth of Pine Ridge, South Dakota.