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'Skateboard Angels' working to help Irmo youth buy equipment

Bluetile Skateboards in Columbia is teaming up with the Skateboard Angel Program to help purchase boards for young people.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Skateboarding teaches many lessons.

For Bluetile Skateboard Owner David Toole, his biggest skateboarding lesson came from falling down.

"I've been skating my whole life. It just builds confidence," Toole said. "You'll fail and keep trying, and fall and keep trying."

An ability to keep going has brought his business success with over 20 years in operation.  Now, they're working to help others learn skating lessons, one board at a time.

"We're working with the Skateboard Angel Program ... that collects donations for kids in need to bring them the gift of skateboarding," Toole said.

While the program is national, he said the donations serve local groups like the HeartEd Youth Zone in Irmo, a free afterschool program for children in need.

"It's such a blessing," Marie Ryan, who assists with the HeartEd program, said. "These kids love to skate. It has such a positive influence. ...The biggest thing that we need are the skateboards so that all the kids can skate."

In the past, Toole said they've prepared new boards from used parts and donated them, but this fundraiser will give the kids new boards to skate with.

"It's $60 to donate," Toole said. "We're trying to raise just 25 boards. ... Give those kids the best opportunity and the best experience on a skateboard."

Those interested in donating can do so by visiting Bluetile Skateboards in Five Points at 621 Harden Street in Columbia. 

You can also donate at SkateboardAngel.com. They will be accepting donations through Dec. 31.

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