When Isabella Stovall, 11, heard about a youth fundraising competition to help build the Carpinteria Skate Park, she was immediately interested. She loves contests and challenges, she said, and she was especially excited about the top prize: a Rad Power Bikes electric bike worth $1,500. Now, on the last week of the contest, Stovall has emerged as not only the front runner in the competition – by a landslide, according to contest organizer Beth Cox – but an exceptional fundraiser, bringing in close to $23,000 in donations to the Carpinteria Skate Foundation in a matter of weeks.
Stovall, who lives in Carpinteria, attends Riviera Ridge School, formerly Marymount School, where she is in the sixth grade. She learned about the contest from her mother, Jessica, who read the announcement posted by Cox on social media. Cox, her family, and her company Grant Cox Enterprises (GCE), have been involved with fundraising for the skatepark over the years, and particularly during this last push to raise the remaining $100,000 of the foundation’s $1.5 million goal. The contest’s prize, a Rad bike, is a donation from GCE and Cox’s son, Carter.
“I learned a lot from Beth (Cox) about giving back and supporting the community,” said Stovall. “She is very inspiring.”
Stovall started asking her friends, family and neighbors if they would like to donate and she quickly raised a few hundred dollars.
“However, I knew I needed to do more if I wanted to win, so I started calling local businesses asking for corporate sponsors,” she said.
“I am motivated to help build the skate park so my friends and I can have a new fun place to enjoy, but I am also motivated to win that bike!”
To raise the $23,000, Stovall sought out individual and corporate sponsors. Top donors in Stovall’s campaign include Austin and Kai Lampson ($5,000), Steve Zimmerman ($5,000), Murphy King Realty ($5,000), Grant Cox Enterprises ($2,000), Aaron and Gina Crocker ($1,000), Ryan Williams ($1,000), Ken and Dinah Stovall ($1,000) and Sally Green ($1,000).
Additionally, dozens of individuals contributed donations under $500.
Cox noted that Stovall has stood out from the pack in this competition. “She’s been so gung-ho and gone around for corporate sponsors. She’s on fire and I don’t think anybody else has raised this much,” Cox said.
“She’s one of those kids who sees something and goes after it.”
Prior to raising funds for the skate park, Stovall volunteered for the 93013 Fund; and after the Thomas Fires, Stovall and her friend, Whitney Welch, baked cookies and wrote cards to the firefighters at the Carpinteria Fire Station.
Stovall said she likes to be involved in the community: “I feel good about that, and I like to give back to the community where I can. My mom says it’s really important to give back but it’s also something I like to do for fun.”
On Friday, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Island Brewing Company, Stovall, Cox and others will be selling raffle tickets for prizes, including three skateboards that Jessica Stovall is donating, $500 worth of merchandise from Powell Peralta Skateboards and $250 in cash.
Cox will also announce the winner of the Rad bike.
Stovall said that she is crossing her fingers and hoping to win the electric bike, but if she doesn’t, she’s still glad that she helped raise money. “I’m excited to enjoy (the skate park). If I win or not, it’s a very good cause.”