The memory Jack M. Doyle is a driving force behind Tosa Skateboarders United. Jack tragically died in October 2006, and it is believed he may have been playing a “game” that is frequently played by many adolescents: the choking game. He never could have known that making himself pass out would eventually cost him his life.
As one of the founding members of Tosa Skateboarders United, the organization has felt a significant absence without Jack. He truly stood out in the crowd with his fantastic ideas and tenacity. His passion spawned the first TSU website, where he wrote the simple words that carry our operating message: “We want a skate park, but it will take years and take money.” According to his parents, the first thing Jack ever expressed patience for was the Wauwatosa skate park.
Beyond just having a place for his friends to practice their sport, Jack also wanted to change the perception of the skateboarding youth. Jack is quoted as having said “we want people to know we’re not just a bunch of punk kids; we just want a place to play!” The passion that Jack exhibited was not only for skateboarding, but for all the kids of Wauwatosa who desperately desired a safe place to enjoy a pastime that a large percentage of our young citizens participate in.
In 2013, Jack’s parents created the Jack Doyle Memorial Challenge. They pledged to donate $80,000 to the skatepark project if the City of Wauwatosa and Tosa Skateboarders United would each match. Within 2 years, the challenge was complete and all the funds necessary to build the Tosa Skatepark were in place. The project was a unique private-public-nonprofit collaboration and eventually went on to raise over $500,000 for the Tosa Skatepark which was completed in 2015.
Our organization deeply misses Jack, and his dedication to this project. His passion is a large part of why we have soldiered on, despite many challenges, to develop the dream that Jack worked hard to promote. He’d be so proud of the park that finally got built!
For more information on how to prevent injuries and death from “the choking game”, visit these websites: