Eureka, Calif. (KIEM)- Mike Crespino (left) is traveling from Eugene, Oregon to San Francisco on a skateboard in an effort to raise awareness for mental health. The long trip will take twenty-seven and a half days, skating a minimum of 30 miles each day. Eureka marks about halfway on his long journey, but it also marks Mike’s hometown.
370 miles down 374 to go. Crespino is about halfway through his skateboard ride from Eugene Oregon to San Francisco. He is hoping his journey will raise awareness for mental health and raise money for the memorial of two young skaters. Ben Moody and Silas Strimple, sadly lost their lives to mental illness.
“I love my skate community, but I also recognize that there’s something happening that we’re having an epidemic of a different proportion where the youth are having an upswing in suicides, an upswing in difficulty, and barriers to care,” said Crespino. “Seeing the kids left in the wake who knew Ben and Silas, and had a lasting effect upon them, that’s why we’re doing this.”
Crespino’s goal is to get the funds for the memorial of Moody and Strimple. He wants to provide something for the kids in the skate community.
“If the plan was to see if a community could reinvest in itself and reap the reward, it’s happening,” said Crespino.
The skater is not on the open road all alone. His friend and co-pilot Ethan Hall (right) follows him along in a vehicle.
“I pretty much just drive like 5 to 10 miles ahead of him, check the shoulder and the road conditions and make sure it’s okay. I look for a nice little pull-up from the side of the road and I’ll sit there,” said Hall. “I’ll doodle, I’ll just do some arts and crafts… I’m always surprised how fast he makes it. ”
The two have also collaborated with the community to make skateboards in the memory of Ben, Silas, and another skater, Kyler Ray, who also, unfortunately, lost his life to mental illness.
“They said, you know, from the start, I want my son’s remembered. We’re doing that,” said Crespino.
You can follow their journey on Instagram @emerald_shred_collective