At the young age of only 26, Turlock resident and skateboard enthusiast Brandon Koch passed away due to adrenocortical cancer on April 12, 2012, at Stanford Hospital.
Family and friends of Brandon Koch have come together to find the best possible way to commemorate his life, and have recently started a petition to have the Turlock Skate Park renamed to the Brandon Koch Memorial Park, as many recall the Skate Park as being Brandon’s “home-away-from-home”.
Brandon is remembered as being seen out at the skate park, not only enjoying his own time, but also helping others enjoy theirs by offering help and advice to younger or less experienced skate boarders.
Koch’s family and friends started collecting signatures on ipetitions.com, and the petition currently has 467 signatures as of May 5, 2012.
Many of the petition’s signatures are also combined with comments showing support for Brandon’s family, and why they believe the skate park should be renamed in his honor.
Turlock Resident and close friend of Koch, Nick Showalter wrote, “I spent the best days of my life rolling around with you on a skateboard. This skate park is your second home. It should be named after you. We love you dude!”
Stephanie Cason shared memories of Koch’s willingness to be a ‘teacher’ at the skate park.
“Brandon was an amazing human being. He was a mentor to a lot of the skaters out there now. He watched over them and guided them, being as he was older, ” wrote Cason. “He deserves this. We need to keep his memory alive.”
Amanda Peterson also shared the same sentiment as so many others in regards to the inspiration Koch provided at the skate park on a regular basis.
“It would be a beautiful thing to let his memory live on in a place where he regularly inspired others,” wrote Peterson.
Friends and family members have already been in contact with the City of Turlock Recreation Department and are making preparations for the project to move forward.
“Our office was contacted and we asked them to provide the request in writing,” stated Manager of Turlock Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Division Allison Van Guilder. “We have not received anything as of yet. The petition is not something the City asked for, it was initiated by the family.”
The family is waiting to collect 2,000 signatures, however, before bringing the issue before the City Council.
According to the City’s policy on renaming facilities after individuals or organizations, the request will need to be brought before the Parks, Recreation and Community Programs Commission for review and consideration after submitting a written nomination form.
The Park, Recreation & Community Commission will make recommendations to the City Council. The final decision on naming of facilities rests with the Turlock City Council.
A benefit concert will be held on May 18 at the Grizzly Rock Café located at 4905 N. Golden State Boulevard. Vinyl stickers with a picture of a skateboard and purple ribbon will also be available in honor of Koch and will be handed out for a $1 donation towards the cost of renaming the park.
To view the signatures on the petition, or to sign the petition yourself, please visit http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/brandon-koch-skate-park/signatures.