Perfect for Skateboarding: Claremont Mother Plans Memorial Pavilion for Her Late Son
Tracey Hagerman, of Claremont, looks over at her boyfriend, Mike Hurd, also of Claremont, while working at Maurice Auto-Truck & Trailer in Claremont yesterday. Hagerman, who lost her son Jason in an accident in 2008, is trying to raise money to build a pavilion at Claremont’s skate park in honor of him. (Valley News - Libby March)
Jason Hagerman, shown in an undated photograph, died in 2008 in a forklift accident. (Courtesy photograph)
Claremont — Jason Hagerman was an avid skateboarder and among a small group of youngsters who began raising money to build a skate park in Claremont several years ago. The mother of a 12-year-old-boy who loved skate boarding and who died several years ago has launched a fundraising campaign to build a pavilion in his memory at the skate park in Claremont.
The Pizza Hut on Washington Street has already agreed to donate a percentage of its sales between 5 and 8 p.m. on April 1 toward the fundraising goal of $15,000 for the pavilion project.
It is a fitting memorial: Jason had also been among a small group of kids who were raising money to build Claremont’s skate park, when he was in an accident in August 2008 unrelated to skateboarding — two months before the park opened — and died four months later.
Now this spring, if all goes according to plan, a memorial pavilion in his name will be constructed at the skate park for skaters and their families.
“He was not able to be there to see the opening of the skate park he worked so hard to get,” Jason’s mother, Tracey Hagerman said. “So this is important to me be because I want Jason to be remembered for all his hard work and dedication he put into our skate park.”
“My goal is to see us put up the pavilion on Memorial Day weekend,” she said yesterday. “I think it would be the perfect time.”
Hagerman said the idea for the pavilion originated with Norm Lessard, a local business owner who was on the Park and Recreation Board and led the efforts to build the skate park.
“A few years ago he called me and asked if I would be OK with a pavilion for Jason and would I take over the project,” Hagerman said.
She readily accepted idea but the emotional wounds following the death of her son were still too raw at the time.
“The first couple of years I was still in mourning. It was still too fresh,” Hagerman said. “I wanted to wait until I was ready emotionally to take on the project. Last year I thought, OK, let’s do it.” Since last August, when the City Council approved a request from Hagerman to name it the Jason W. Hagerman Memorial Pavilion, Hagerman and her boyfriend, Mike Hurd, have been busy obtaining the necessary permits from the city and raising money and other donations.
“I could not have done this without him,” Hagerman said of Hurd. “He has been 110 percent behind it.”
Davis Frame, Osgood Construction, Weed and Son Concrete and Roy Funeral Home are providing labor, materials and equipment free of charge or at a reduced cost toward the $15,000 project.
Hagerman said they have so far raised about $2,000 toward their goal. “Everybody has been so supportive,” Hagerman said. “I did not expect this amount of support. It has been amazing. So many people have come up to me and said ‘I’m glad you are doing this.’ ”
Hagerman said she was motivated by Jason’s love of skateboarding and his effort in launching the building of the park. She remembers the times she drove him along with his siblings to a skate park in West Lebanon.
“He always said, ‘we need one of these in Claremont.’ One day he came home and told me that he and his friends were helping to raise money to build a park in Claremont.
“He was one of the five original boys that started a fundraising campaign,” Hagerman said. “He was in it from the get go and was part of anything that had to do with it.”
Jason died from injuries sustained in an accident in August 2008 at Maurice Auto & Truck Inc., the Claremont company where Jason’s mother works, and which is operated by Hurd.
Though Jason was the inspiration for the pavilion, the larger purpose is for the entire community, Hagerman said.
“It is about Jason but it is about a lot more,” Hagerman said. “There is no shelter there if it rains or to get out of the hot sun. (His brother) Brett loves to ride his scooter at the park and if I am with him, I have to sit in the car.”
Hagerman hopes to have picnic tables under the 20 by 20 foot pavilion and plant some flowers.
“They will probably be pink flowers. Those were Jason’s favorite color.
“My hope is to turn it into a nice little recreation area for kids and families. I will be able to sit and relive memories of Jason skating, but now in my hometown.”
Patrick O’Grady can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.