“Skateboard Stan” named co-senior of year

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 20, 2002

For Stan Sevaldson being the co-senior citizen of the year is a great honor, but it doesn’t match the feeling he gets when kids on the street greet him as &uot;Skateboard Stan.&uot;

&uot;I just feel like God gave me time, and the kids give me inspiration,&uot; said Sevaldson of his work with the Albert Lea Skate Park Association.

At age 84, Sevaldson hasn’t slowed down much from his days in the Air Force and later as Albert Lea postmaster.

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Nominated by Chuck Pownell and the Albert Lea Elks Association, Sevaldson’s volunteer efforts bridge generation gaps. In the last two years Sevaldson spearheaded the movement to create a skate park in Albert Lea, and before that he spent much time at Good Samaritan Center.

&uot;Stan is one of those people who would do anything to help you,&uot; said Pownell. &uot;He would give you the shirt off his back.&uot;

With a history that includes involvement in coaching youth baseball and presiding over the United Way during Albert Lea’s historic Wilson strike, Sevaldson’s background has been an asset for his work at the skate park. The group has overcome myriad challenges from funding, to a location for the park, to complaints from private investors, and even insurance issues.

Sevaldson has worked to keep the youth involved since the beginning of the skate park assocation.

&uot;When I started talking to these kids I didn’t even know what a halfpipe was,&uot; Sevaldson said.

For Sevaldson the reward is simple. Just the knowledge he might be encouraging a kid who got lost in the crowd to aim high in life is enough.

&uot;The kids I’ve met who say thanks later in life, stuff like that really warms my heart,&uot; said Sevaldson.