Go Skate Steamboat sells T-shirts to raise money for REPS at annual event
Suicide prevention and destigmatizing mental health discussions are topics close to Trevor “Apple” Mekelburg’s heart. So, when it came time to decide what local nonprofit he would support with his annual Apple Jam, he chose Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide — REPS.
“If you’ve been in Steamboat longer than a year, (you know) suicide has affected this community like crazy,” Mekelburg said. “I think we’re at a point now, where mental health is not so taboo to talk about. … I was aware of what REPS was doing, so I just knew that’s who I wanted to partner with this year.”
Apple Jam started five years ago as a “party with a purpose,” celebrating Mekelburg’s birthday, supporting the community and raising money for a nonprofit. This year, Go Skate Steamboat is hosting Apple Jam Episode Five at 5 p.m. Oct. 3 at Howelsen Hill Skatepark. The group will sell T-shirts and all funds raised will go to REPS. There will be skating and live music by Wordan Jilson & The Wild Bunch.
“I would recommend anybody and everybody to come to this event,” Mekelburg said. “It’s not a skateboarding event. That’s just going to be one of the attractions.”
The event is not powered solely by Go Skate Steamboat, which Mekelburg helped start in 2020. There has been a handful of businesses and groups helping make the event successful. Maddy Schaffrick of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club played an important role, introducing Mekelburg to the phrase, “Are You Billy Kidding Me?”
“If you see something crazy in Steamboat, you can say, ‘Are you Billy Kidding me?’” Mekelburg said. “It’s just hilarious.”
Schaffrick said she didn’t coin the phrase but can’t remember where she heard it.
The SSWSC also helped secure event permits. Mekelburg has worked with the SSWSC for years, and his support of the skating community has helped grow the skating programs at the club.
“We host multiple events a year, so it was something small that we felt confident doing,” Schaffrick said. “We’re so excited to be involved.”
Mekelburg shared the fun, punny phrase with Eric Samuelson, a friend and the creative genius for Go Skate Steamboat. Samuelson created a logo of Billy Kidd riding a scooter on each foot, spreadeagled, like each was a ski, and he was flying through the air after hitting a jump.
“The most perfect, better-than-I-was-imagining rendition of these images,” Mekelburg said. “He is the key to our success.”
Upon seeing the image, Mekelburg knew it was going to be a hit, so he wanted to use the image and saying for something big. Apple Jam and a fundraiser for REPS was the perfect excuse to use the logo.
Chaos Ink in Craig offered a great printing deal since they knew sales would go to a great cause, and Dave Eliason, of Back Door Grill, paid for the printing. Eliason has been a part of the Steamboat skating community since moving here and has supported Go Skate Steamboat in the past.
“We believe in his mission and his lifestyle, and we support everything he’s trying to do here,” Eliason said.
Go Skate is also partnering with Urbane and Grand Futures to host the event.
“At the end of the day, selling a T-shirt with a funny Billy Kidd picture is goofy and lighthearted and fun,” Mekelburg said. “The purpose of this event is really serious and heavy. … I’ve known too many people who have taken their own life. My hope would be talking about mental health, and suicide especially, wouldn’t be so uncomfortable for people.
“My hope is to share the resource of REPS, so that people know we have something like that in Steamboat,” Mekelburg added. “My hope is we can come together as a community and shed light on what’s going on, because it’s torn apart Routt County.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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