NET WORTH: $140 million, estimated
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Professional Skateboarder, Birdhouse
FUNDING AREAS: Parks & Youth Empowerment
OVERVIEW: Tony Hawk founded the Tony Hawk Foundation to help create public skateparks, particularly in low-income areas. The foundation has awarded some $5.8 million through the years. Approximately 600 skatepark projects in the country have received funding from the Tony Hawk Foundation.
BACKGROUND: Tony Hawk was born in San Diego. By the age of 12, he got his first sponsor, Dogtown Skateboards and shortly after became a professional skateboarder. Hawk was considered one of the top skateboarders in the world by the time he was 16 years old. In his nearly two-decade-long professional career, he won more than 70 skateboarding contests, including gold medals at the 1995 and 1997 X Games. Hawk started also his own skateboarding company, BirdHouse.
PARKS & YOUTH EMPOWERMENT: As the face of professional skateboarding for years, Tony Hawk received thousands of emails from parents and children who did not have a safe, legal place to skate and in some cases were arrested for skating on public property. Hawk founded the Tony Hawk Foundation in 2002 to facilitate lasting improvements in society, with an emphasis on supporting and empowering youth. Through special events, grants, and technical assistance, the foundation "supports recreational programs focusing on the creation of public skateboard parks in low-income communities, and other causes in the U.S. and overseas."
Through the years, the foundation has awarded over $5.7 million to nearly 600 public skatepark projects in all 50 states, and $100,000 to support the Skateistan program in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa. Supported parks include Lanark Recreation Center Skatepark in Los Angeles, Mingus Park in Oregon, and Coady Skatepark in Illinois.
The Hawk foundation partnered with other foundations to advance its focus areas. For example, a partnership with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation's Built to Play initiative and KaBoom! expanded access to free public play spaces for kids in western New York and southeastern Michigan.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect Tony Hawk to remain focused on skateparks.