This past month Dan Butler organized a benefit to help out Matt Hanes a Fort Wayne Skateboarder for over 30 years. as well as an overall good friend and contributor to the scenes in and around our local region.
Matt recently discovered that he has a stage 4 Kidney disease and also even more recently had hip replacement surgery (One of Two)
Matt has been off work for nearly 8 months and we are proud to have helped him out by raising enough $$’s to cover a full months mortgage on his house.
Here is a letter Matt sent over, true passion and nothing but love from this amazing human!
To: Supporters of the Fort Wayne Indoor Skatepark
I would like to thank everyone who attended my benefit contest last Saturday. Especially Dan Butler who has done such a fantastic job building all of the ramps and designing a truly magnificent skate park. One could not ask for a better or more dedicated friend who gives tirelessly and has always pushed me toward progression. I truly am blessed to have had him in my life for so long.
I have given a lot to skateboarding throughout my life. Miles of skin left behind on bloody concrete. A veritable forest of trees to make the 7 ply boards i sacrificed while learning various tricks. I gave a separated left clavicle to the mid ramp at sweeney. I gave a broken arm in Kalamazoo, a torn rota-tor cuff in grand rapids.(say no to michigan!) i gave my tailbone to a parking curb in Huntington, and concussed my head in Peru. (just a green splatter on the concrete.) I have given countless hours of my time driving to and from parks, learning my arsenal of tricks.I gave my testicles and i think my virginity to a handrail at Frieman. Practicing over and over again until i collapsed drenched in sweat and blood. To sum it up I gave skateboarding my heart, my love, and my soul.
Not to be outdone skateboarding has given me a few things back. First and foremost it taught me that nothing is impossible. When i first attempted to make that board leave the ground it seemed completely unachievable. However with perseverance i eventually prevailed, and was soaring over sets of stairs, trash cans and the occasional bum downtown. I looked at things differently from then on. Always seeing possibilities in the most bleak of situations. It made me tough from the numerous slams, scabs and nut rackings. Most importantly it gave me friends who would be there for life. Stop for a moment and think how special and rare that really is. Friends who are always there, an unconditional bond that cannot be broken. Never being alone and always having people that you can count on. It ‘s funny if you asked me what i was doing thirty years ago i would say “i’m going skating with Butler, Derek, and Schnitz.” and nowadays if you ask me what i’m doing on my day off more likely than not i’ll reply “going skating with Butler, Derek, and Schnitz.!” I think thats pretty cool and no value could ever be placed on something like that. Skateboarding has given me everything i need survive this often harsh and cruel world. So that when they tell me i have to have BOTH my hips torn out and replaced with metal, i don’t even wince. I just say” bring it on !”
Skateboarding continues giving to this day in the form of last weeks charity contest. It gave me the reassurance of all the wonderful people who stand behind and support my endeavors. Thank you to everyone who attended. It meant so much having all of you there and was awesome seeing so many old friends coming together. They say that you get out what you put in. but in my case i have received so much much more. I thank you.
with my most sincere love, Matthew Hanes