Chesterton Tribune

60 miles a day: Skateboarders for a cause make a stop in Chesterton

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Some ideas are not too crazy after all.

Two high school seniors, Grant Neblo and Jesse Adrian, had always joked about how cool it would be to get on their longboards and skate to Chicago from their hometown of Adrian, Mich. Now they’re experiencing that once impossible dream firsthand while also raising dollars and awareness about hospice care along the way.

But they probably picked a poor week to travel as Neblo told the Tribune they’ve encountered it all– wind, rain, cold and whatever else Mother Nature can throw their way including big, scary Chesterton Tribune reporters. “It definitely has been a challenge,” he said.

A few friends have been tagging along behind the longboarders in an SUV, providing safety on the roadways and informing the passersby on why the two are traveling. They are doing their best to avoid major highways and busy roadways on a carefully planned route.

Neblo and Adrian stayed overnight in Chesterton Thursday for some rest and relaxation on their third day of travel after covering 60 miles starting from a campground in Middlebury, about 35 miles east of South Bend. They embarked at 7 a.m. this morning for the Windy City where Neblo said they will meet up with family for more relaxing and later some sightseeing.

The two friends have been skateboarding/longboarding together for about two years and felt it would be great to use their hobby for charity. Both had grandparents who were moved to the Hospice of Lenawee in Adrian and appreciated the care they provided, so that became their charity of choice.

“They were really good about helping our families,” said Neblo.

According to Susan Turner, director of community education and development for Hospice of Lenawee, a major component of the boys’ journey is education. She said most people are surprised to hear about the many services hospice has to offer such as counseling and support for family members.

The hospice center hosted a send-off breakfast for Neblo and Adrian on Tuesday that was attended by members of the community and the local U.S. Congressman. Since then, the small mission has caught the attention of many people as the boys skate from town by town. Their story was presented on a local TV station and Neblo said they plan to be interviewed by Chicago news organizations when they arrive.

Turner said she had no idea the hospice center would receive such a large outpouring of response from those inspired by the adventure.

“It’s just been amazing to watch,” she said.

Anyone can give a donation for the cause, Turner said, by visiting the hospice center’s website at




Posted 4/27/2012