Elephant Brand helps Sandy victims
In another show of support for those hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, pro skateboarder Mike Vallely has teamed up with New Jersey Skateshop to produce a limited run of signed Elephant Brand Skateboard decks, with all profits going to affected skaters and their families.
Each purchased "Street Axe" deck -- from a run of 100, featuring a "Hurricane Sandy Relief" top graphic -- will be numbered and signed with a personal message from Vallely. The decks cost $100 apiece and can be purchased online directly from Resource Dist.
"I have been feeling really down since the storm," Vallely, a New Jersey native, told ESPN.com. "I wanted to help -- I had this huge sense of responsibility but no resources or means to help -- I just didn't know what to do. Then I remembered this NJ Elephant graphic we had created for the launch of the brand and never used, and that's when the idea for these boards hit me. And I realized we could and should raise some funds that can go directly to the skate community."
The benefit's goal is to raise $7,500, which will be handed out by NJ Skateshop directly to families in need.
"The outpour of love and support by the skateboard industry for the people of New Jersey and New York devastated by Sandy is like nothing I've ever experienced," NJ Skateshop cofounder Chris Nieratko told ESPN.com. "It's pure, raw human caring from one person to another who may or may not have ever been to Jersey."
"But for Mike, the disaster that took place affected those in his boyhood home of Edison," he added. "So it came as no surprise to us that Mike stepped up in such a big way to help folks back home."
"What's the old saying? You can take the boy out of Jersey but you can't take the Jersey out of the boy? For many back home, Mike is one of the best to ever come out of Jersey."