PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – It looks a lot different inside of the Hard Times Skate Shop on Afton Parkway.
The day after Christmas, the owner Tony Herndon saw water leaking from the ceiling after freezing pipes burst in the vacant apartment upstairs.
“It was a collective effort, I couldn’t have done it without the help of everybody that helped me,” Herndon said. “Teamwork makes the dream work.”
For the last two weeks, he’s been working in the shop with his skate buddies to get the water out, make repairs and paint.
“This [upcoming] week, we’re going to try to replace the cash register and some of the things we lost,” Herndon said.
Last Monday, Herndon shared with 10 On Your Side, some of the inventory was wet. The cash register, card machine and a backup laptop were all destroyed.
Herndon is from Portsmouth, and he is known for his petition to save the skate park near his shop in 2021. In 2022, he hosted a free kids skate camp and a Juneteenth skate competition.
He is one of few Black-owned skate shops in the country, which he believes is his true purpose – representation.
“It shows kids that they can do whatever they want to do,” Herndon said.
Many supporters donated to his GoFundMe to help him replace the damaged items and get a new renters insurance policy for the year.
“I don’t do it for the accolades, but to see that people actually notice what I’m doing,” Herndon said, “and it has a positive effect on them. That makes me feel great.”
He hopes to reopen by Friday of this week.
“Thank you, community! You guys are awesome,” Herndon said. “I would have never expected this overwhelming support.”