Irondequoit teen memorialized at Roc City Skatepark
A decade after Akeer Matthews was struck by a car while skateboarding with friends, the 14-year-old Irondequoit teen is being honored in the newly opened Roc City Skatepark.
Matthews’ mother, Sheila Epps, an application support analyst at Sage Rutty, and company President Wayne Holly have been involved with the park’s development for 13 years. They asked what it would take for a portion of the 26,000 square foot skate plaza to be named after Matthews and, upon learning it would require $55,000, the firm got to work.
Sage Rutty, in conjunction with some of its senior advisers, raised $50,000 in less than a year. Epps shared her son’s story during a company Zoom meeting and Holly opened fundraising to the rest of the firm. Team members placed bids on donated prizes ranging from home-cooked meals to vacation properties to raise the remaining money and close the $5,000 gap.
“The initiative to create a skateboard memorial for my firstborn son, Akeer Matthews, has been extraordinary,” Epps said. “I can imagine Akeer’s big grin smiling down from heaven. This is truly a dream come true.”
The street-style skating section of the park will be named after Matthews, accompanied by a memorial. The memoriam will be completed in the spring.
“Even though Akeer can’t be here to shred the park in person, we want his spirit and love of skateboarding to live on,” Holly said. “This was a passion project for our firm, made possible by the support and generosity of our team members. After all these years, we’re incredibly excited to see this vision become a reality.”