RIP George Riley

George Riley, who donated over $600,000 to the Farmington Hills Skatepark which was named in his honor, died January 5.  He was 85 years old. When we were in the early stages of raising money for the park, we were adamant that if we were going to do it, we wanted the park to be the best it could be.  That meant, free, cement, no pads, and most importantly, design/built by a reputable skatepark builder.    We were lucky in that Farmington Hills was cool with that vision; only thing is that a park of that magnitude is expensive!    We were determined to raise money which we did on a local, grassroots level and honestly we would probably still be raising money today if it had not been for George Riley. The Riley foundation who's mission is to promote youth activities and specifically outdoor activities, stepped up and donated $500,000 to the park.  Obviously once someone gives that cash to a project it takes it off the backburner and turns it into a reality.   We were floored by that announcement!    Our skatepark is going to be built!!   Dreams do come true! One more problem...  The park is going to cost close to a million dollars to complete!   Well, Mr. Riley stepped up again!   They matched the next $150,000 donated which enabled Riley Skate Park to be built! Riley Skatepark has been open now for almost a decade.   There have been so many great memories, friendships, growth, and happiness that have happened there.   I think everyone would agree that the park had been a huge success for the community. I don't know if George Riley ever skateboarded but with his vision and love of keeping kids active, he has done more for Michigan Skateboarding than most.   For that Mr. Riley, we say a huge and meaningful, THANK YOU. Funeral mass will be on Saturday, January 13.   Viewing is on Friday at Heeney Sundquist Funeral home here in Farmington.  I'm going to have a Riley Park board here at the shop to have people sign to bring to the funeral home.   If you'd like to sign it and say a thank you to the man who built our skate park, cruise up to the shop this week.
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