By Andrew Decredico
Cape May County’s newest skate park opened up just a few short years ago. Located on West and 5th Avenue the park has been used by many locals, those from just a few miles outside of town, and many tourists throughout the summer months. In addition to the general fun of the skaters, the park opens up its gates to fundraising events.
Skato with Kato is a fundraising event held to raise money for the Ocean City Humane Society. Originally, the event was held to raise money for a dog named Kato to have an expensive surgery on his ACL. By the time the event was held and the money was gathered, Kato had healed his ACL with proper exercise and careful treatment. In lieu of Kato’s surgery, the money raised from the event went toward the Ocean City Humane Society. The event’s name was changed to Skato With Kato, to reflect the change in financial destination.
This year many showed up to participate in the skate competition. The “Groms” were the biggest group of contestants, and consisted of any boys under the age of 12. Other brackets were girls consisting of kids up to 16 years old, boys which were generally kids in their teenage years, men, and women.
The groms were up first, and started to compete at around 5:30 pm. Many of the kids did very well but in the end there can only be one winner. Chaz Moreno an 11 year old from Upper Township took home first place. Second place was Dominic Morrill of Ocean City and third place went to Cruz Dinofa of Linwood.
In the boys bracket Kai DeMarco, a 16 year old from Ocean City, skated away with the gold. Anthony Mabry of Northfield won the silver medal, and Jake Palmer of Somers Point took home the bronze.
The girls were just as competitive as the boys. Sophie Whelan, a 10 year old from Ocean City, was very happy to have won her bracket. Zoe Herishen took home second place, and came all the way from Wood-Ridge to compete. Cove Chew the youngest competitor at the age of 5 years old, took home third place in the girls bracket.
The men’s division saw some its most daredevil tricks, and some of the hardest falls. When all was finished, Ryan Halbe, a 23 year old from Brigantine, won first place. Bryan Cottrell of Ocean City took home the silver medal, and Christian Cotto of Egg Harbor Township took home third place.
The Women’s Division was small, and due to the limited number of competitors only first place was announced. Dana Martino took home the prize for the ladies but the limited number of contestants did not make it any less of a battle to the podium. All of the ladies gave it their all, and had fun while competing.
Even though the competition was for the best run overall, prizes were given for a few other things as well. Best fall out of the groms, boys, and men’s categories went to Kai Demarco. Just because he had a great run and took home first place, doesn’t mean he didn’t fall. As for the girls and women’s best fall, Kaia Chew claimed the prize. She gave it 100% and everyone watching could tell she was having a blast. In addition to those, a prize was given to the person who had the best trick out of all of the competitors. This went to Chaz Moreno. This little guy gave everything he had today, and threw out some tricks that the judges didn’t even have names for. All of that earned him the prize for best trick.
At the end of the day, everyone had fun and a lot of money was raised for the Ocean City Humane Society. The event has turned into a very helpful fundraiser for the Humane Society, and will be held every year in for foreseeable future.