Element Skateboards announced plans to host the first annual philanthropic fundraiser benefiting Elemental Awareness. The event, called compressionSF, will be held on March 18, 2004 at popular San Francisco venue Suite one8one and will mark the organization's launch of skateboarding and nature skills educational programs for youth in the Bay Area.

Elemental Awareness, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, was established after initial grassroots community outreach by Element Skateboards proved popular. Created with the mission of reaching out to underprivileged youth through the avenues of skateboarding and nature skills education to develop self-esteem, awareness and the tools to lead successful lives, the charity was co-founded by nature skills enthusiasts and skaters Todd Larson and Mike Kershnar, who also lead all of the workshops and programs. The charity was made possible by Element Skateboards Founder and President, Johnny Schillereff, who was searching for an opportunity to involve Element in a philanthropic endeavor that would encourage upcoming talent in the skating community while aiding underprivileged youth.

“With Elemental Awareness, founders Mike Kershnar and Todd Larson give back to back to skaters and inspire them to keep striving for what they believe in, while also teaching them how they fit into the larger context of the world,” said Johnny Schillereff, founder and president of Element Skateboards and chairman of the board of directors for Elemental Awareness. “I hope that Element Skateboards can serve as an example for other companies to become more involved with the community because skateboarding is such a positive influence for many youth in the inner-cities.”

“Elemental Awareness is founded in the belief that we can make the world a better place though our passion. Our passion is skateboarding and wilderness survival skills, the very modern and the very ancient. Working with youth through these outlets is the most useful and rewarding thing we believe we could be doing with our lives, and we feel incredibly blessed to be doing so. We are so thankful to Johnny Schillereff and Element for nourishing the seed of Elemental Awareness since the beginning. We would also like to show respect to our teacher Tom Brown and the Tracker School for mentoring us in the ways of the wilderness,” said Elemental Awareness Co-founder Mike Kershnar.

With premier sponsors including Element Skateboards, 7×7 Magazine, Emerald Vodka and Skaterade Energy Drink, compressionSF is designed to showcase elements of the urban world that Elemental Awareness touches. In addition to a demonstration by Element Skateboards Team Riders, compressionSF will feature a graffiti art installation, fashion and break dancing presentations, a modern art exhibit and auction, and a silent auction of action sports, outdoor, and gourmet items.