Joe Maloof never will forget what happened to competitive skateboarder Jake Brown in 2007.
Brown was in first place in the X-Games 13 Big Air contest, in which competitors slide down a mega ramp that launches them into a sea-sized half-pipe. After splashing into the half-pipe, the score is determined by the airborne tricks and by measuring the amount of air the skater gets coming off the opposite side.
Brown was in first place before the jump, but what happened next diminished any importance of rank. He landed the first 720 in the Big Air competition, but followed it with a 40-foot free fall. He walked away a few minutes after falling, something most skaters would not have been able to do.
This event inspired Joe Maloof to start the Maloof Skateboarding Assistance Foundations(MSAF), which builds skate parks and offers financial assistance to skaters who are considered too high risk to insure.
Because of what Maloof has done for skateboarders across the world, CNN has named him CNN Headline News “Hero of the Week.”
Through his foundation, Maloof has benefited young people who are rarely taken into consideration.
Some might think that the Maloofs are “loaded,” so they should spend their money on other people. But Joe Maloof went out of his way to help youngsters who often are thought of poorly by the public.
The Maloof Money Cup provides an avenue for skaters to show off their skills. The event, begun in 2008 by Joe and Gavin Maloof, continues to evolve.
The competition started in Orange County but was held earlier this month in New York City. Next year, it will move to South Africa, and other countries have asked to host the Cup.
The foundation continues to support skaters such as Brown, who are unable to find insurance while participating in their high-risk sport.