Weekly Feature



2017-07-12 / Front Page

Construction begins for Alix Rice Peace Park

by HOLLY N. LIPKA Reporter


Tammy Schueler stands next to a rendering of the Alix Rice Peace Park, a skate park to be built in memory of her 18-year-old daughter, Alix Rice. Rice died on July 8, 2011, after being struck by a drunken driver while riding her longboard on Heim Road. Schueler is also wearing a bracelet made out of the longboard Rice was riding when she died. Tammy Schueler stands next to a rendering of the Alix Rice Peace Park, a skate park to be built in memory of her 18-year-old daughter, Alix Rice. Rice died on July 8, 2011, after being struck by a drunken driver while riding her longboard on Heim Road. Schueler is also wearing a bracelet made out of the longboard Rice was riding when she died. After five years of planning, designing and fundraising, construction has begun for the Alix Rice Peace Park, a skate park in memory of 18-year-old skateboard enthusiast Alix Rice.

“There’s so many mixed emotions for me to stand here today, because five years of hard work is finally coming to be, and that feels so good,” said Rice’s mother, Tammy Schueler, at the groundbreaking on Friday at the Northtown Center.

Rice, of Amherst, died on July 8, 2011, after being struck by a drunken driver while riding her longboard on Heim Road.

“She was an avid skateboarder for four years at least,” said Schueler. “When we traveled, we always went to skate parks together.”

In August 2012, the Alix Rice Peace Park Foundation was formed to honor Rice and raise funds for a safe area for local skateboard and longboard enthusiasts.

Since then, the foundation has raised around $440,000 from in-kind donations, state grants and fundraisers.

The budget for the skate park is $450,000, but the foundation hopes to raise a total of $500,000, which will help complete the skate park and also offset annual maintenance and insurance costs moving forward.

The 10,000-square-foot skate park will be located in the northern parking lot adjacent to the football field and bike path on the property of the Northtown Center, 1615 Amherst Manor Drive near Millersport Highway.

The above-ground California styled skate park will be the first of its kind in WNY.

“Currently there are no parks in Western New York that have bowls or are a California styled park,” said Jon Fulcher, president of the Alix Rice Peace Park Foundation. “It will accommodate all skill levels, from expert to first — Tammy Schueler, time on the board.” Rice’s mother

Along with a bowl, the park will include rails and a manual pad in the shape of a peace sign, which will “commemorate Alix’s spirit.”

Families and businesses can also put their name on the skate park by filling out a brick donation form on the foundation’s website, AlixRice.com.

The contractor, Independent Shotcrete, has signed to build the skate park, which will take seven to eight weeks to complete.

“This is our opportunity from this day forward to celebrate Alix’s life, who she was as a human being, and that her memory lives on with her values and her love for her community,” said Schueler.

For more information or to donate to the Alix Rice Peace Park Foundation, visit AlixRice.com.

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