13th Annual KidsMatter Skaters’ Picnic

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Skating into some Saturday fun, the KidsMatter Skaters’ Picnic took over the Centennial Beach Skate Park.

The Naperville Police Department, Naperville Park District Police, and KidsMatter all collaborated to put on the 13th annual event.

“For us, we get to meet families that is on a turf that is non confrontational, non stressful,” said Commander Ken Parcel of the Naperville Police Department. “This is purely a joyful, playful event. This is just hanging out in the community and being what we should be to the community just building a relationship.”

The free fun was not only a chance for police to socialize with the community, but also to recognize kids who love to skate.

“We like to recognize all kids, and I think that the skateboarding youth – they don’t have anything that’s just dedicated to them, they’re not a formal sport, a recognized sport in school, so they have their own community,” said the Director of Marketing and Events at KidsMatter, Bridget Hatch. “So we just like to connect with them and foster good communication with them, again with the Police Department and the Park District Police.”

Hundreds of skaters took to the ramps, alongside professionals from character skateboards, getting a chance to watch and learn.

And for some skaters, it was a great event to come back to year after year.

“It was awesome, coming back and seeing that it’s still a thing and kids are still out here. Especially the young generation, that’s what going to be the skate community later on; The kids are doing their little thing right now but once you mature you get better and you understand ‘let’s go out and get it’ and that’s like the whole industry of skating,” said Joel Androwski, who’s been participating in the skaters’ picnic on and off for the last ten years.

The KidsMatter Skaters’ Picnic coincided with the Naperville Jaycees’ Last Fling, which also helped sponsor the event.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.