Skate 4 The Brain fundraiser skates through rain to raise $1600

Event photographs courtesy of Luvern Mornin, ‘Back of the Room Photography’

Tyler Stemmler didn’t want to send everyone home. Despite the pretty steady rain on Saturday the 25th, Stemmler decided to stick it out at Brant Crossings Skatepark in Brantford and let it ride for his charity event Skate 4 The Brain.

And lo and behold, his initiative still raised $1600 for Ontario Brain Injury Association! In three years of his annual event, Stemmler has raised a total of over $5500 for OBIA!

Stemmler receives recognition last year from OBIA for his work in the fundraiser (picture from his Facebook)

“Until about one (the weather) was still good,” Stemmler said at the Brant Skate Park behind the Brantford Casino. “It was all setup and a lot of people already were there.”

Speaking of people attending, “There was still about 30 people there I think,” he estimated. “About 20 skaters.” Considering the conditions, it’s understandable to have a more limited attendance. However, perhaps Stemmler was immersed in running the event because another attendee said there were more like 50-60 people in attendance. “Then just when we were starting the first event, it started to rain,” Stemmler explained. It came down hard, too. But much like his life, where it rained hard too, Stemmler didn’t want to give up. “So we skated under the canopy and did our events there,” he explained of his compromise.

Under the canopy, skaters compete for best trick. One trick is admired in awe (right). Photos submitted by Back Of The Room Photography)

“We changed things up a bit, but made do with what we had,” Stemmler said, almost as if he was directly making reference to his life with brain injury and how he had to change his life, but now is making do. And he’s doing quite well now. Well enough to give back to the community. He chose OBIA for his charity because of the vital help he needed and received from OBIA after his injury.The event was a near perfect microcosm of Stemmler’s life in many ways. Much like his life, where he has persevered an amazing amount as he suffered a traumatic brain injury in childhood, the entire group Saturday took a piece of Stemmler’s perseverance and made a success of the day.

Skaters brave the wet skatepark (Photos submitted by Back Of The Room Photography)

After awhile of rain-plagued weather, the sun tried to come out. “We continued what events we had left (in the skatepark) if they felt safe enough to do,” Stemmler said (a skater takes on the park later in the day; above).One attendee said mostly everybody was really patient and understanding about the weather. She said that the kids all seemed fine by the weather and none emitted negatively about it. Rather, the only ones complaining were the adults (one lady notably), presumably parents supporting their kids. “Everybody was cool about it,” said Nicole Stemmler, another guest (not the one complaining). Speaking to the weather of the day, Tyler said the numbers of attendants therefore suffered. “It was smaller than anticipated,” but he remains positive about what was accomplished.

“We still raised $1600, even in the rain,” he said.

The correlation here to Tyler’s life shines bright: he has persevered through the bad luck to make a life just as this event withstood rain to be a success. And eventually the sun came out. Just like in his life. Perseverance and compromising, two essential elements in life after such an injury. And Stemmler showed both Saturday in completing his event. “Never give up; be persistent,” he said. “Don’t let anything stop you.”

A skater tries a kickflip (Photos submitted by Back Of The Room Photography)

Thanks to the skaters who did come out even though it rained,” Stemmler said. He also wants to thank all his sponsors and their donations that helped make it a successful day. “I am blown away with the (overall) support,” he said. Especially in the rain. But even rain couldn’t keep it from being a productive day.

(Photos submitted by Back Of The Room Photography)

Stemmler’s parting words? “Be ready for the biggest Skate 4 The Brain next year! I’ll make sure to make up for what was lost out by the rain this year. Saturday, August 24th, 2019.” (Mic drop)

(Photos submitted by Back Of The Room Photography)

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