Three teenagers rode their skateboards 150 miles for ‘Boarding for Boobies’
OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Friends Connor Reeves, Jacob Weese and Ethan Johnson of Skowhegan relaxed barefoot Thursday afternoon in the town square. After a 150-mile journey from Ellsworth on longboards – a long style skateboard – in an effort to raise money for breast cancer, it felt good to take their shoes off, said the three teens.
The trio, who will be entering their senior year of high school in the fall, completed a four-day trek on longboards late Wednesday in an effort they called “Boarding for Boobies.”
Reeves, 17, Weese, 17, and Johnson, 16, have been friends since first grade, and long-boarding is a standard activity during their summer vacations, they said.
The three wanted to do a long trip, and Weese’s mother suggested they do the trip for a cause. They decided to call themselves “Boarding for Boobies” and raise funds for Passionately Pink for the Cure, a fundraising program with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure in honor of Weese’s aunt, Carla Tibbetts, of Dexter, who is a breast cancer survivor.
“She was pumped,” when she heard about their fundraising trip, said Weese. “She’s very proud of us.”
Reeves said Thursday that they had received about $3,000 in donations – three times their original fundraising goal of $1,000.
They raised money along the way by selling bracelets and collecting donations, and had received a large number of donations before the trip. A story that ran in the Bangor Daily News in the beginning of the month about the three teens generated a lot of interest.
“There’s been a bigger response than we thought,” said Reeves.
The three rolled in Old Orchard Beach late Wednesday afternoon and met up with Reeve’s parents after a day long trip that began just after 5:30 in the morning. They began the day making good timing in the morning, making 20 miles in four hours, but found their energy slowing down as the day went on.
The last stretch of the day was the hardest, they said, as their mapped out directions led them to the Eastern Trail, which is not suitable for boarding. They walked the trail, hot and tired, and out of water.
“I went to bed at 7” on Wednesday night, said Weese.
Their longest day was 45 miles, done over 14 hours. Weese said the biggest challenge was staying hydrated, and the 45-mile day was brutal. He said if he were going to do it again, he’d add another day to the trip.
Despite these challenges, the three were happy and enthusiastic about their trip, eager to share some of the experiences they had along the way.
During times when the heat was getting to them or they were tired, people stopping by or honking their car horns gave them motivation to continue, said Reeves.
Also encouraging were some of the people they met along the way, including a man who was biking from California to Bar Harbor in honor of a child with cancer.
“If he can do 65 days, I think we can do four,” said Johnson.
The boys, when they rolled into Stockton Springs, were greeted with a crowd of people cheering them on and holding signs that said “Skate for the Cure.”
“They were the greatest,” said Reeves. The teens were also touched by the generosity of people who gave them meals.
Johnson said they met a number of cancer survivors along the way.
People told them that it was “an honor to meet you guys,” said Reeves, which he said was good feeling.
“We’re just three teenagers long-boarding,” he said.
The three decided to make Old Orchard Beach their final destination because it was a nice place to relax, said Reeves.
Over the course of their trip, the trio gave updates on their Facebook page and will be compiling a video.
In addition to wearing pink “Boarding for Boobies” bracelets, the three also wear lavender “Lacy’s Team” bracelets, in honor of a young woman who has been battling cancer since childhood.
Reeves said they are thinking of making the trip an annual tradition, adding 150 miles every year.
written by Liz Gotthelf