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Event to honor memory of Brandon Koch, raise funds for park renaming
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Friends and family of Brandon Koch continue to keep the local skateboarder's spirit alive.  A candle light vigil and release of balloons will be held at the Turlock Skate Park at 6 p.m. today in honor of what would have been his 27th birthday. 

Family members of Koch will also be selling shirts at today's event to raise the necessary funds to pay for the expense of renaming the park in his honor.

“The t-shirts will be available in grey and black,” said Koch’s aunt Judith Suliman.  “The shirts will include a logo of a skateboard and a picture of Brandon.  We are also accepting donations from community members because every little bit helps.”

The 26-year-old Turlock native lost his battle with adrenocortical cancer on April 12.  Koch’s family and friends can think of no better way to honor the memory of his life than by renaming the Turlock Skate Park the Brandon Koch Memorial Park.

“Skateboarding was not just a pastime for Brandon,” said Suliman.  “It was a major part of his life.  I can still remember his excitement when the Turlock Skate Park was built (and) the number of hours he spent with his board.”

When the idea of starting a petition to rename the skate park came about, Suliman was surprised and touched by the response of the community.

“The park has already been approved by the City of Turlock to be named after him,” said Suliman.  “All we have to do is to come up with $4,000 to pay for the expense of renaming the park.”

Suliman has been spreading the word to local community members and is currently planning different fundraisers for next year in order to raise the necessary funds.

“We are currently on the works of creating rubber bracelets with an inscription, 'forever in our hearts,'” said Suliman.  “We are also planning a raffle contest where the participants can have an opportunity to win three custom-made skateboards with his picture on them.”

Koch’s family has currently raised $100 towards the cost of the renaming the park.

“We still have a long way to go,” said Suliman.  “We hope Brandon’s friends and the community can support us in our cause and help us reach our goal.  We appreciate the support and hope to see everyone on Saturday to commemorate his life.”