ASHWAUBENON (NBC 26) — It's often described as a hidden gem. Green Bay Action Sports Organization, or GBASO for short, welcomes anyone on wheels.
"They can skateboard. They can scooter. They can BMX. They can roller skate. They can roller blade," said Operations Manager Chad Brinker.
Six years ago, Brinker helped turn the idea of an indoor skate park into a reality.
"It's exciting to watch it all grow and happen right in front of everybody's eyes. It's pretty cool."
GBASO rents out skateboards, scooters and strider bikes. You can also bring your own.
With classes, camps and open skate, kids of all ages can get some exercise and have fun in a hip, urban-inspired space.
"There's a lot of kids that don't take to team stick and ball sports, where they come here and then they thrive because they can do it on their own. They can run at their own pace. They can do their own tricks. There's no rules to it."
Reina Duarte was looking for an inside winter activity to keep her three-year-old son, Levi, active. He just started lessons with Brinker.
"He's awesome. He's super patient which is great. He's an amazing teacher," she said.
Duarte hopes the one-on-one instruction will help Levi build confidence on his bike and beyond.
"I don't want him to lose that ability to just go for things. You know, just to be able to fall down and get right back up and just try new things."
Brinker said the nonprofit is also a place where kids form friendships, learn leadership skills and become mentors.
"It keeps them out of trouble," he explained. "Having good people here is good guidance for the kids that are running around on the streets doing whatever. You know, they can come here and have a safe environment."
GBASO is a nonprofit organization.
"It's more of a community establishment that way," Brinker explained. "We can reach out to different areas that you can't as a for-profit. It's nice being more of a community facility than a for-profit skate park, and we like that."
As a nonprofit, GBASO relies on support from the community to keep the doors open.
"If we need anything, there's always people that step up to help us, and it's not just money. It's building ramps. It's setting up for events."
Now, they'll get even more help through Give BIG Green Bay. It's a 24-hour crowdfunding event put on by the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and the Green Bay Packers Foundation. They chose GBASO as one of the 40 nonprofits to receive donations this year.
Brinker said, "We kind of couldn't believe it. We put the application in and then got the call back, and we were pretty excited about it."
GBASO will use the money to pay for more skate coaches and to update their equipment which includes helmets and pads, but Brinker said being part of Give BIG Green Bay goes beyond getting a check.
"It's really good awareness for us, because people will come in and be like, 'Wow. I didn't even know this was here.'"
With the added exposure, Brinker hopes GBASO's growth stays on a roll.
"It's a nice place, and I hope more people find it. I'm really happy that we did," Duarte said with a smile.
GBASO also offers a climbing wall and live concerts.
Give BIG Green Bay runs from noon on February 18th until noon on February 19th. Many of the nonprofits will hold special community events during that time. GBASO will offer free admission and no cost classes.
Last year, Give BIG Green Bay raised nearly $1.4 million.
NBC26 is proud to be the television partner for the event again this year.