Story last updated at 2:39 p.m. Thursday, April 18, 2002

Skateboarders win honors for their cause
Adrian Raymond, Eric Szymoniak and Ivan Heimbuch, representing the Homer Skateboard Association, won a $500 award for exceptional "participation in government and business" from the Spirit of Youth Foundation.

The Anchorage nonprofit gave the group the top award in the government and business category for their efforts to bring a skateboarding park to Homer, which has banned the use of skateboards in many areas.

"It was pretty sweet," group co-president Eric Szymoniak said about receiving the check during a formal banquet at Anchorage's historic 4th Avenue Theater.

Starting with a hearty thanks to their adult adviser Annie Moylan, the three Homer teens took turns with the acceptance speech, Szymoniak said.

"I think we learned it's a long road," Szymoniak said of the group's back-and-forth dealings with first the Homer Parks and Recreation Department and ultimately the Homer City Council.

"I'm so proud of these kids," Moylan said. "I think (the determination) comes from the nature of the sport, some inherent sense of independence. Plus they're used to being kicked off, kicked out, told no."

But they have stuck with it and after two years of letter writing, researching, and politicking, the skaters are $500 closer to having piece of asphalt to call their own. The most promising potential site is generally thought to be a small lot adjacent to the Boys and

Girls Club.