Got to visit The Bay in Lincoln, Nebraska, founded by Mike Smith (who also founded Skate for Change)! I met these guys about a year ago and absolutely love everything they do! This is what a skate scene should be—inclusive, supportive of skaters of all ages, accessible, and community-focused.
Had an awesome time checking out their programming, helping some new skaters, and rolling around with some of the local rippers!
I only visited for a couple of days, but created some life-long memories in Lincoln. When I first saw @thebay_ on social media, I got the vibe that these are people who care about people, and that’s exactly what I experienced first-hand.
Some kids were shredders, some weren’t (yet), but what‘s valued at the Bay is character; the ability to learn, give, and grow. No one here, or anywhere, is perfect, but what I saw was an incredible crew who care for friends and strangers alike. They look for the needs of people in their community, opportunities to fulfill those needs, and then work together to make it happen.
Before leaving, their skate school was immediately followed by a community food bank. The coffee shop has a bucket full of vouchers for free coffee for people to contribute to, or draw from, as needed.
This trip reminded me of the kindheartedness that is in all of us. That heart is brought to the surface when cultivated, and the staff, volunteers, kids, and youth at the Bay are a testament to that.
Thank you so much for the kindness and hospitality, my friends. Hope to see you again soon!