Written by Nancy Stokler Steiner
He was only a kindergartner when Sebastian Kuhr learned about a jog-a-thon
school fundraiser. But Sebastian loved skateboarding, not running. And
he knew his school could use extra funds. So he suggested a similar effort
featuring his favorite sport.
With some assistance from his family, Sebastian launched SK8 for the Schools
in 2006. The event, which raised $400, has grown in size and impact each
successive year. To date it has raised more than $50,000 for Hermosa View
and Hermosa Valley schools.
“I love the sense of giving back to the community and helping my
school become even better than it was when I was there,” says Sebastian,
now an incoming high school senior. His efforts include soliciting donations
of money, products and refreshments, and of course demonstrating his skateboarding skills.
Sebastian was named the 2013 Young Emerging Leader by the Hermosa Beach
City Council and Leadership Hermosa organization. In 2014 Southbay magazine
named him one of the ‘Top Teens to Watch.” He’s also
received special recognition awards from California state senator Ben
Allen and state assembly members David Hadley and Al Muratsuchi.
In addition to skateboarding, Sebastian loves surfing and snowboarding.
According to his mother, Samantha, Sebastian was the first person to snowboard
down Pier Avenue at Hermosa Beach’s SnowFest event in 2010. “He
personifies the Hermosa Beach lifestyle,” she says.
Community service seems to run in the family. Sebastian’s younger
brother, Julian, has co-chaired SK8 for the Schools for the past four
years and will take over when Sebastian leaves for college next fall.
(He is looking for a new co-chair.) After their mom was diagnosed with
breast cancer three years ago, the brothers began skating in pink to raise
awareness for breast cancer and to remind women to get annual screenings.