San Diego honors skateboarding legend Tony Hawk

SAN DIEGO - SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Thursday was proclaimed to be "Tony Hawk Day" in the city of San Diego in recognition of the professional skateboarder's philanthropic contributions.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilwoman Lorie Zapf honored Hawk at the Robb Field Skate Park in Ocean Beach.

"It's super-overwhelming," Hawk told 10News about the proclamation. "I never imagined something like that, especially in my hometown."

The native San Diegan's foundation has raised more than $5.1 million to help fund 544 skate parks, which are used by 4.8 million skaters annually in all 50 states, according to his website. Hawk has worked with the American Red Cross, Make-A-Wish Foundation and other nonprofits.

"It's a great honor but I hope, if nothing else, it helps to create awareness for our foundation work -- public skate parks in low-income areas all across the country," Hawk said.

Hawk, 46, turned professional at the age of 14 and won numerous competitions. His performances helped build the X-Games into a major event and his Birdhouse skate company is one of the most popular in the sport.

After becoming successful, he realized he had a voice that people listened to and could make a difference, Hawk told 10News. Hawk said he grew up near a skate park in Del Mar and wanted other children to have the same opportunity.

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