Breyden Clark, 11, and Samuel Walls, 10, walked to the event table filled with prizes Sunday at the Craig skate park during the second annual Lid Jam.
They set their skateboards down and asked Lid Jam organizer Kenny Stacy if there were any helmets left.
“You guys always need to wear these, OK?” said Stacy as he pulled out two of the last three helmets from under the table and handed them to the boys.
“Yes sir,” the pair said in unison.
Breyden said he wanted to wear the helmet because he wanted to “skate safe.”
“You’ve got to have safety,” he said. “It’s important to protect your head because, if you fall, you could end up the same way Shane did, and that was bad because he was a cool kid.”
Breyden was one of 17 skateboarders and BMX bike riders to receive a free helmet at Lid Jam, an event to honor former Craig skateboarder Shane Braselton.
Braselton died July 29, 2009, in Grand Junction after a skateboarding accident a day earlier in Craig in which he was not wearing a helmet.
He was 20.
Event organizer Stacy said he decided to help host the event not only to remember Braselton, but also to spread word about the importance of helmet safety.
The event was hosted by Carelli’s Pizzeria and J&R Cyclery, and featured about 30 competitors.
Stacy said about 16 youths signed up to receive a free helmet from the Ian Tilmann Foundation, in addition to 17 helmets given out during the event.
About 100 people from the community also attended the event, Stacy said.
“We had such a great turnout,” he said. “We couldn’t have asked for much more.”
The competition was divided into two age groups, and further divided between skateboarders and bikers.
Competitors rode in three competitions, including half pipe, street and best trick.
Two event attendees were Gary and Pam Braselton, Shane’s parents.
“I couldn’t believe how many people were down here,” Pam said. “It’s awesome. It really makes me feel good to see as many people in helmets.”
Pam said it was hard for her to watch the event, but she took comfort in the message event organizers were trying to convey.
“It is still really hard, but it looks like something good is coming out of it,” she said.
Gary said he was “overwhelmed” by the attendance.
“But, you know what is really cool?” he said. “Look at all these helmets.”
Trent Miller, 20, was one of the event competitors. He said he became close friends with Shane in the three years the two knew each other.
Miller said he and former Craig resident D.J. Williams helped Shane learn how to skateboard.
“I just can’t believe he is gone,” he said before the competition. “I mean, I wake up and I think about it, I just can’t believe it. It’s just a shock.”
Miller said it is important to encourage young skaters to wear helmets “at least until they can make a decision for themselves.”
“When you are learning how to do it, it is good to have some protection,” Miller said. “Honestly, I should wear my helmet, too.”
Miller said there are some negative connotations in the skating community about wearing helmets.
“They see all their skating idols not wearing helmets,” he said. “I mean, what pro skateboarder wears a helmet? I mean, some of them do.
“But, they think wearing helmets isn’t cool, which isn’t true, obviously. It is definitely a good idea to wear one.”
Williams, 21, said he knew Shane since first grade and helped him buy his first longboard.
“He was the next in our crew,” he said before participating in the competition. “We were basically recruiting him.”
Williams also received a free helmet during the event — a pink helmet.
“It was the only one in my size,” he said with a laugh. “I told them, ‘I’ll take it and rock the pink.’”
As Williams looked around, he estimated no more than one-fourth of the youths attending the event knew Shane, but said he was happy to see so many people skating and biking safely.
“That’s why I got one,” he said as he adjusted the pink helmet.