Sign up for our Newsletter

The Second Annual Decked Out fundraiser features a skate-themed fashion show. (Photo Credit: Madison Fender)

The second annual art and Skate exhibition fundraiser, Decked Out, returns to the George D. Costello Roller Skate Rink next Saturday, May 20 with food, skate decks, a fashion show and fun for the whole community.

For the second year in a row, the Decked Out event will raise funds to improve the Greenport Skate Park. The event will feature over 70 skate decks up for silent auction as well as a fashion runway show featuring urban streetwear curated from local retailers. 

“This year we are excited to infuse an athletic expo during the fashion show,” said designer and president of Greenport Skate Park Inc., Rena Wilhelm. “It will feature our park’s skateboarders, roller and inline skaters, scooter riders and BMX bikers who will perform tricks while the models change.” 

Wilhelm and stylist Jesse Elliott curated the looks for the fashion show. Models will be wearing clothing from local shops such as the Times Vintage, The Weathered Barn, Kessie’s, Salt + Sea and Renee’s, and jewelry from Wai.   

The number of skate decks painted by local and regional artists nearly doubled from last year. They will be displayed throughout the event, with artists ranging from youth to renowned painters and sculptures. Shelter Island art teacher Cat Brigham, who joined in the fundraiser last year, will participate again along with 16 of her students.

While Decked Out is a fun, family event, it was born out of an unfortunate necessity. 

For decades, the skate park was a longtime favorite hangout spot for local teenagers as well as skaters from across Long Island. However, in recent years, it fell into disarray – with crumbling concrete, graffiti and dangerous nails.

“Four years ago, a local kid named Dane Jensen pointed out some offensive graffiti that had been spray painted at the park,” said Wilhelm. “He was only 11 years old at the time and put a plea out to his mom to take photos and post them on the Village of Greenport Facebook page. When I saw those photos, it broke my heart, I’m just one of those personalities who want to get it done and make real change in the community.”

Wilhelm, and other like-minded individuals from around the Village, like Dan and Colette Galvez, who are now founding board members, brainstormed on how to fix the problem. The couple quickly secured a non-profit status and the trio began to work on ways to raise funds to improve the park. 

“We remembered that Greenport used to have a skate park festival and we thought ‘Why not bring that back,’” added Wilhelm. Although their initial plans to throw the event were derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic, they were able to take the time to focus on how they wanted to make the event memorable while also bringing awareness to the park and its needs. 

The Decked Out Event was the largest grossing fundraiser for the Village of Greenport last year, raising over $25,000. Their goal is to reach $100,000 this year. Ali Tuthill, Sonja Reinholt Derr and Stephen Karl have jumped onto their marketing, sponsorship and fundraising committees, and Tuthill’s daughter, Henley, created a youth outreach committee, allowing for insight into what areas of the park kids think could use improvement.

Newly elected mayor, Kevin Stuessi, showed his commitment to the park since taking office last month. Wilhelm and her team partnered with him and the administration to make sure that the park serves as a destination for not just skating but a safe place that kids can call their own.

“When initially planning this event, a private donor asked us to keep him in the loop,” said Wilhelm. “Last year I got in touch with the donor and I let him know we needed $58,000 more to reach our goal. He proposed that if we raise $28,000, he will kick in $29,0000 – which was crazy generous. This year, we are a lot closer to that goal because of his donation.” 

This year, many more local businesses and community members are participating in bringing the event to life. Jared Loveless of Vector East Ltd., a local contracting and carpentry business, is building a skate ramp that will showcase athletes’ talents throughout the fashion show. American Beech, Ellen’s on Front, First and South, Greenhill Group, Lucharitos and Noah’s are providing free food for the event. Drinks from Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. and Greenport Wines and Spirits will be for sale, with all proceeds going towards the revitalization project. 

“We are lucky,” said Wilhelm. “Many local restaurants, retailers and professionals are donating the essentials to make this year’s event successful. It’s truly a grassroots movement with a focus on our local community.” 

The event begins at 1 p.m. and will run through 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 20 at the George D. Costello Roller Skate Rink on 102 3rd Street in Greenport Village. Tickets can be purchased in advance here for $10 and are $15 at the door on the day of the event.