Tuesday, March 29, 2011

WE DID IT WE DID IT $10,000 in 27 days!


Check out some of the things that have happened in the last 28 days.

Hundreds of donations from all over the World (Spain, Costa Rica, Canada...South Dakota :0 )
Dozens of people sleeping outside "Under a Bridge" to show their support
Fights with skunks, field mice and some dang cold nights
5yr olds and 8yr olds going do to door to come up with nearly $1,000
TV interviews + Radio interviews....thanks so much KFRX

All so kids have a safe, positive, empowering place to skateboard!

Last night we reached our goal of $10,000 in scholarship money for my skater kids!
I am so thankful for all my friends/family and people i have never even meet who believed in this enough to help me reach my goal + get back into a bed!! 

Thank you all so very much for the help!

BAY 198 kicking...and kick flippin : )

Humbled and Grateful


Monday, March 28, 2011

power of kids

This past weekend i had two of the most amazing kids stay with me Under the Bridge
Treyson 8
Conner 5

Please read the note below that Travis (Treyson's dad wrote)

On Friday, March 25, 2011, my son Treyson (8) and I joined Mike Smith in his fundraising campaign "Under a Bridge for The Bay." Mike has been sleeping under a bridge every night since March 1st in his quest to raise $10,000 in scholarship funds so that kids, regardless of financial circumstances, can have a postive, mentoring environment in which to skate.
Treyson pretty much lives on his skateboard and Wendy and I like that he is active instead of sitting in front of the tv or playing video games. He seems to be pretty good for his age, and we've made a lot of friends through Bay198 - a local, non-profit, indoor skatepark that Mike opened in November 2010.
When the Under A Bridge For The Bay campaign began, we donated what we intended to give and solicited donations from our extended family. As the weeks wore on, however, Treyson decided that he needed to do more. He approached us with an idea: get pledges from friends and neighbors to sleep under the bridge for a night. Wendy and I discussed it and decided that he could do this under two circumstances: 1. I would join him, since we weren't about to let him sleep under a bridge by himself, and 2. he had to raise at least $200. We circled a date on the calendar, and he set about to collect pledges. He skated door-to-door in our neighborhood, created pictures for Wendy to distribute at work, and called many of our friends, colleagues, and family. When everything was said and done, he proudly presented Mike with $575!
When March 25th rolled around, we packed our sleeping bags and extra clothing and headed out to the bridge on the outskirts of town where Mike was calling "home." This night, we were joined by another young skater - Connor, his dad, his uncle, and another skater out of Columbus named Jake. The seven of us laid out our bags, Connor and Treyson shared some treats that Connor's mom had packed, and we sat up for an hour or so chatting. The only things missing were a fire, marshmallows, and a tent!
Several of my friends have asked what the experience was like:
1.  It was cold.  Temps got down to about 32 degrees (which is far warmer than some of the evenings Mike has spent under here, but still far cooler than the flannel sheets and down comforter on my bed). By 4:30 a.m., I could no longer feel my toes even though I thought I had prepared pretty well for the night.
2.  It was eerily noisy.  Every time a car would pass overhead, it sounded like thunder under the bridge. Around 3 a.m., what must have been a semi rumbled over - it sounded like an airplane was landing on top of us!
3.  It was uncomfortable.  The ground was hard and cold. There was litter all around us, and no matter what position I slept in, there was always a rock somewhere underneath me. A few times throughout the night, I awoke to find Treyson noticeably further down the embankment from where he had fallen asleep. Between pulling Treyson back up to me, trying to escape the frigid breeze, and shifting my sleeping position when my back or hips began to hurt, I was asleep for fewer than 90 minutes in any one stretch.
4.  It was humbling. Sleeping under the bridge made me reflect on the sacrifice that Mike is making for these kids. He has a home, a day job, a fledgling business, and a wonderful fiancee who no doubt would prefer that he find other ways to raise money. Yet here he is, night after night, because he made a commitment to help those who are less fortunate or who just need a safe place to go.
All in all, I'm glad we had this experience. I'm proud of Treyson for his dedication and fundraising success. I'm happy that our community has people like Mike Smith who are making a difference. I'm thrilled with the support we've received from friends and family. I'm ecstatic that I get to sleep in my own bed tonight.
Treyson asked me yesterday if we could do this again. I don't think I've ever answered "no" as quickly as I did then! But, eventually, there will be another cause we want to get behind - and if Mike has anything to do with it, I have no doubt it will be crazier and over-the-top than this one was - and I know that Treyson will again feel the need to to serve others. And I'll be there with him.
As of this writing, the Under A Bridge For The Bay campaign still has about $1,500 to go to. If you can help with even $5 or $10, you can donate through PayPal at www.bay198.com.

It is becuase of kids like this that I have slept outside for the past 27 days.

Thanks for all you have done!


Friday, March 25, 2011

March Maddness

March Madness....

If you read this blog but have never seen what the BAY looks like or what we do there for fun...peep this video done by a park local and good friend of mine.

I am so thankful for all the people who have believed in this and helped me fight for the skaters of Nebraska.
Cornhusker State Games employee Branden Bopp....sleptdown there with me three nights in a row.
Phil from Precision Skateboards held it down with me 2 nights.
TJ has BLOWN IT UP for us and helped raise nearly $1,000
Conner/Treysen are 5 and 8 respectively and are both going to sleep out side with me tonight (snow and all) they are two of the coolest/cutest skaters you've ever seen.
Shelli Mcclintock my booking agent will be there this weekend.
Trey, Lucas, Haley, Conner, Josh and so many others have either shown up and stayed the night or just come out there and chilled with me a an hour or two. 

HUGE THANKS to everyone who has helped me get this far......we got one final push to get to $10,000

repost, facebook, email....or come stay the night with me :)



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

22 days

I have currently been sleeping "Under the Bridge" for 22 days.
We've raised $6,500
I've fought, the cold, rain, cops, skunks and field mice....but im not done yet.

$3,500 left to raise 

Want to know how you can help, please read this letter below a close friend and colligue of mine wrote this morning.

"PLEASE help me raise money for Under A Bridge for the Bay!!!!
  All of us can look back over our life and find someone who has truly left their mark on our life, who opened our eyes to needs that we would not normally see because we do not take the time to pause and recognize them. Mike Smith is one of these friends in my life! Over the past year I have gotten to know Mike, by helping him get his speaking business Mike Smith Live up and running. I would leave every meeting with Mike feeling encouraged and yet challenged that there is always more I could be doing. Mike's love and passion for today's youth is inspiring, yet very convicting to me. For those of you who have been following Mike, here in Lincoln, he has been sleeping UNDER a bridge to raise money for The Bay 198 Skatepark, a non profit where kids can go to skate and hang out...I have watched Mike work hour after hour there simply for the love of these kids...while balancing his full time job with the homeless youth at Cedars, and speaking with youth in schools and at camps across the U.S.  Mike has went many nights without much sleep, for the purpose of loving on the youth in our community. He has taken his commitment to The Bay even further...by seeing the need for the kids who would love to come and skate there, who simply can not afford it...by committing to raise $10,000 so everyone has a chance to skate there. Mike has opened my eyes to the fact that there are children who do not have a place to call there own and are looking for anywhere to lay their head at night, and also for the kids who just want a safe place to hang out during the day, but can not even afford the $5.00 day pass! Where not only can they do what they love, skate, but develop a friendship with Mike. As a mom of 4, I realize the huge importance of mentors, coaches and role models in their lives! Mike represents all of these things. There are many days I wish my kids had more and did not have to "go without" and I did not have to say no to the many things they would love to enjoy. However, I have been deeply convicted that no matter how much we may sacrifice, we have always had friends and family by our side and warm beds to sleep in at night.As Brea and I were saying our nightly prayer to keep Mike safe, and for the kids without a home, I became convicted that I was not doing everything I could to help! The reason I am writing this, is to ask you to please consider giving to The Bay and get Mike OUT from under the bridge where he has been sleeping for 22 days! Although I wish I could write Mike a check for the additional $3500, to get him home, I am trying the next best thing...reaching out to my friends and family and asking for your help!  MY goal is to raise at least $500 on Saturday March 26...by leaving my cozy fleece blanket and bed, and join Mike Under The Bridge!
 Please consider donating to The Bay 198 by going to Paypal and paying online (no account needed to do this!) or send a donation written to The Bay to 9315 S 84 Lincoln NE 68516."

Thank you!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

not giving up

Its been 8 days.....outside, under a bridge, in the cold....alone. 

My goal is to raise $10,000 in scholarship money for my kids. 

We've almost hit the halfway mark of $5,000 dollars....there is alot yet to be done.
Will you help me and invest in the youth of today.
WE wont give up until we reach our goal...will you help us? 

donate online through paypal (even if you dont have an account)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


It was one week ago i started sleeping "Under a Bridge for the BAY"

Last night a couple of my friends stopped down to check out the bridge, see where i've been sleeping...and bring me some Delion burritos...not a bad night at all.
You know the crazy thing about the BAY is that, its solely run on volunteers.
We don't have any "employees" I dont get a salary or take whats left over at the end of the month (not that there is ever anything to take haha)  I do it because its important to me, i do it because Lincoln needs it. 

I really want to thank all of you for all the support and help you've given me so far!
We've got hair stylist putting out jars in their salon to raise money, kids have emptied piggy banks, waitresses have give an entire night of tips, I've gotten hand warmers from a friend i haven't talked to in almost 10 years, I know that the "god father of Nebraska skating" aka Phil from the P...is going to spend at least one night down there with me....and so many more stories!

Thank you all who have posted it on FB, emailed it to co-workers and families, and given money yourselves.
I hope you keep posting, keep getting the word out about how important these kids are to our community!

We've raised close to $4,000 so far...
only $6,000 to go!
Pretty amazing!

donate at http://www.bay198.com/



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Snowy night

"Intense love does not measure, it just gives. "

Tonight they're expecting anywhere from 3-5 inches of snow.

Tonight i will be GIVING UP a good nights rest in a bed, giving up the heater and something warm to drink so my kids who love to skateboard can....and will have the opportunity to do it for free.

I've had so many skaters/parents come up to me and tell me how much this means to them and their family.
We have almost $7,000 dollars left to raise in scholarship money....impossible, no.  Easy...not at all.  Worth it....every second.

The above link will run in the Journal Star soon, please send it on via facebook, email, twitter...whatever...help me show these kids that a community like Lincoln and Omaha believes in them, and is willing to sacrifice so they can do something they love.