GARDNER — A neighborhood household that established a company aimed toward breaking the stereotype of skateboarding children as troublemakers is being acknowledged for his or her efforts.
Eddie Vargas Sr. and Eddie Vargas Jr., who created the Keep Kids Off the Streets nonprofit six years in the past, have been amongst 5 recipients nationwide of the Stahl Family Small Business Fund Pure Imagination Scholarship, which is devoted to serving to small companies develop by giving them additional instruments and coaching they should take their operation to the following stage.
Vargas Sr. mentioned his group contains a gaggle of teenagers from Gardner and Fitchburg who journey year-round to totally different skate parks throughout the state and encourage native skate boarders to steer clear of medicine and stay at school. He mentioned the thought for the nonprofit got here to him after he bought skateboards for his two sons, Eddie Jr. and Joshua.
“After which what occurred was they have been speaking day-after-day about how children had nowhere to skate in Gardner,” he mentioned, including that this occurred earlier than the town constructed a skateboard park at Jackson Playground. “After which I noticed them and their associates skating within the streets and I spotted that it was sort of harmful.”
Vargas mentioned he started taking his sons and their associates to skate at a park in Fitchburg, and that’s when the thought for Preserve Children Off the Streets was born.
As a recipient of the Stahls’ scholarship, the Vargas household obtained a $700 warmth press, which they mentioned they are going to use to design and create personalized T-shirts that they are going to promote and use the proceeds to fund their nonprofit. The scholarship additionally contains start-up supplies, a advertising and marketing package, and one 12 months of customized one-on-one coaching from a staff of consultants from Stahls’ — which is described as a world-class innovator of customized garment ornament and tools.
Vargas, who works as a marriage photographer, admitted that he had tried totally different fundraisers however none had confirmed profitable, so he took an opportunity and utilized for the Stahls’ scholarship. He mentioned he might scarcely consider it when he was knowledgeable by the corporate in early January that his nonprofit had been chosen from 1000’s of entries to be awarded a scholarship.
“The plan is to hopefully create some good designs and put them on T-shirts and promote them to the neighborhood and elsewhere, so we are able to elevate funds to proceed doing what we do,” he mentioned. He mentioned that he and his spouse, Dalis Garcia, who works as a nurse, are within the strategy of designing their first batch of shirts, which he expects will probably be made accessible on the market on the Preserve Children Off the Streets web site (keepkidsoffthestreets.weebly.com) inside a couple of weeks.
Vargas mentioned he’s proud to be an advocate for native skate boarders, an exercise he mentioned has been rising in reputation over the previous few years.
The scholarship program began as a one-time award in 2020, in accordance with organizers, however after overwhelming curiosity and lots of inspiring entries, the Stahl household knew they wished to assist extra entrepreneurs obtain their desires.
“The pandemic has taught us many classes, for starters, persons are discovering inventive methods to earn a living at dwelling,” mentioned Dan Stahl, president of the Stahl Household Enterprise Fund. “Our firm has grown and adjusted since my great-grandparents began a enterprise of their storage within the early 1900s, however one factor has remained the identical — our dedication to supporting small companies and entrepreneurs, whether or not they began their enterprise 5 years or 5 months in the past. In case you dream it, you are able to do it.”
The Stahl household began their small enterprise in a Detroit storage 90 years in the past, and their Small Enterprise Fund was established to assist entrepreneurs within the rising garment customization business.