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.



Monday, March 7, 2011

$3,100 so far

Hey guys,

Sorry i missed a couple days of updates.

We had a couple big skate competitions this past weekend and i don't get any wireless signal "under the bridge"

It has blown me away the support and love that i have gotten from all over the country.
I've even had friends donate from Canada and Costa Rica...pretty awesome to see people believe in skaters.

Last night a local skater and a close friend of mine Lucas stopped down "Under the Bridge" to check out my new home and keep me company for a while...it was fun to see other skaters willing to show their support and believe in me and what i am trying to do for our youth/families.  I'm so thankful for guys like Lucas.

Around 2 am I was woken from my chilly slumber to the sound of footsteps by the river...i shot up immediately and thought to myself "this is it...a homeless guy, a police officer, a heckler...someone coming to start something", its at that point fight or flight takes over...considering i was shoeless and had the high ground on whoever it was that was approaching i prepared myself for a potential batter.
I kept my head lamp off and just sat and listened as the footsteps got closer and closer...I clinched my flashlight thinking this was going to be my weapon of choice in defending my little "territory."
As the footsteps grew closer and closer I flipped on my head lamp in preparation of an altercation....and to me surprise this "enemy" that had stumbled into my camp...was none other than a skunk.
My initial reaction was "oh thank God its only a skunk" and then it quickly turned to "oh no its a dang skunk!" anything but a skunk..this is one furry beast i hoped to never encounter during my journey in the "wilderness" of Lincoln.
I an attempt to not startle my stink spraying opposition, that could care less of my harmless intentions of being under a bridge, i quickly shut off my head lamp and just watched it frolic past me in search of something else.

Crisis averted... :)

I have slept "Under a Bridge for the BAY" 5 nights now...and we have raised over $3,000
$7,000 to go...thank you all for you the support and encouragement.

I realize that there is a lot of snow on the ground and alot more coming...I don't care, i wont give up on this.

To many of our kids know all to well what it feels like to have someone "give up" on them.  A parent, a teacher, friends...or even themselves.

Tonite is going to be a cold one, but if it shows these kids how much all of us at BAY 198 care about them...its worth it.

Bundle up, drive safe, and stay away from skunks....

Thanks for reading


Thursday, March 3, 2011


Day 2,

“Sacrificing your happiness for the happiness of the ones you love, is by far, the truest type of love.”

 I stumbled across this quote this morning just after I came out from under the Bridge and it has been running through my mind all day.

Last night was my 2nd night "Under a Bridge for the BAY" and while it was significantly less cold, one reality has really settled in...this is going to take a while.

We are currently around the $2,500 dollar mark, that means we have $7,500 to go...

I spoke with an elderly couple today when i got to the mall, they dropped off a $5 donation and told me that they wish they could do more and that they were proud of me.  It was really cool to see people who have never had anything to do with skateboarding believe in what we're doing.  If you are reading this and blog and have already donated I just wanted to say from all of us at the BAY THANK YOU!!!

So many of you have blown this up on Facebook, re-posted it, text and called.  That is how we will get this done, all of you getting the word out and believing in what we are doing for our kids at the BAY. 

Tomorrow morning I will be on the radio at 7:15
Jack & John in the Morning
Lincoln's News & Talk, 1400 KLIN (that's an AM station for all you reading this under 25yrs old)

The Governor is going on right after me tomorrow morning, I am going to see if I can talk to him about what we're doing, could hurt right :)

Take care, stay warm...spread the word and help me get out from Under a Bridge for the BAY!



Wednesday, March 2, 2011

DAY 1 "Under a Bridge for the BAY"

Mother Teresa once said

"We can not do great things; only small things with great love" 

The reoccurring questing I've been asked over the past week is....Why? 

Why a bridge?  Why now?  Why not have a normal fundraiser?  Why for a skatepark?  Why would anyone give money for this?

My answer has been same through out,  I love these kids and I am willing to sacrifice for the things I love the most...and now I want the community of Lincoln to see how special these kids are.

For the past 8 years I have worked with students, families and youth from all walks of life.
The rich, middle class, poor, educated, drop outs, homeless and hopeless...and my mindset has been the same through out.  Kids need someone who believes in them enough to fight for them. 

Last night was my first night sleeping "Under a Bridge for the BAY"
The news said it dropped down to 7 degrees last night...it only took about an hour for me to realize a couple things....it was cold....I was alone...and this whole things was gonna be one of the craziest things I've ever done. 

I'm currently sitting at the BAY watching some of my favorites skate...imma about to grab my board and go skate back to the bridge that is quickly being referred to as "home"...

If you're reading this blog and want to donate to the kids/families that I'm sleeping under a bridge for you can do that one of two ways

www.bay198.com and donate through PAYPAL


Stop in and see me and my kids at BAY 198, its located in Westfield Gateway Mall (right by Sears)

I'll will be sleeping outside...wind, rain, snow..whatever until i reach my goal of $10,000 in scholarship money so kids that wanna skate....can. As i prepare myself for my second night outside I keep telling myself this one simple truth, these kids are worth it.  Worth every bit of wind and snow...worth every minute of sleeplessness or frustration.  I love the BAY...it's been a dream of mine for a long time, and now its time for me to sacrifice for one of the things i love most, my only hope is that if you're reading this you would be willing to sacrifice something too.

Stay warm, spread that word...and thanks for your support


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Under the Bridge for the BAY

BAY198 Skatepark is raising $10,000 in scholarships for students with improved grades and behavior in school and for those families with financial hardships.

BAY198 Skatepark Founder/Executive Director, Mike Smith, along with other community members and skaters, will be sleeping under a bridge until our goal has been reached. Mike will also be ditching his truck and riding a skateboard to and from work to raise awareness.

Cash or check donations can be dropped off at BAY198 Skatepark (located in Westfield Gateway Mall, next to Sears) or visit us at bay198.com to donate securely through Paypal.

For more information about BAY198 Skatepark or the Under the Bridge for The Bay campaign email mike@bay198.com.