Nearly a year ago, 26-year old skateboarding enthusiast Brandon Koch passed away due to adrenocortical cancer.
His legacy will be remembered at 1 p.m. on Friday, as Turlock's newly-renamed Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park will have its sign formally unveiled to the community.
After Koch's passing, friends and family of Koch spent months advocating that the Turlock City Council rename the Turlock Skate Park in his memor. In August 2012, councilmembers unanimously agreed to rename the park the “Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park.”
Since the skate park first opened, Koch spent countless hours at the park voluntarily helping young skaters learn various maneuvers and tricks on their skateboards. Koch would also look out for young children who may have otherwise been bullied at the park, creating a safe environment for everyone who went there.
“He made that skate park a home,” said Zachary Wagner, a close friend of Koch, at a Turlock City Council meeting. “He made it a safe place for kids to go. There were many times where he stopped bullies from coming in and taking young kids’ skateboards, and just looked out for the skate park in general. He made it so that everyone felt welcomed and at home there.”
Last year Koch’s aunt Judith Sulliman started a community-wide petition, gaining over 1,000 signatures in support of renaming the park. Many of the signatures also contained comments from community members sharing memories of Brandon and the legacy he left behind at the skate park.
After gaining approval from the Turlock City Council, Sulliman and other friends and family of Koch held various fundraising efforts to help pay for the new sign that will be unveiled on Friday.
The new Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park sign will be unveiled at 1 p.m. Friday. The skate park is located at 250 Starr Ave., near the Turlock Police Department.