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Here are six reasons why skate parks are beneficial to our community.

Here are six reasons why skate parks are beneficial to our community.
1) Skateparks reduce illicit behavior.
 – while there can be an occasional “bas seed”, providing designated spaces for positive activities is the best way to curb unwanted behavior.
2) skateparks provide a safe environment for skateboarding.
– skateboarding is going to happen while skateparks exist or not. The most common injuries in skateboarding occurs outside of skateparks. Due to surface irregularities and collisions with cars. The best way to keep them safe is to provide them a space.
3) skateparks reduce damage to private property.
 – if your town doesn’t have a skatepark, then it is a skatepark. Public skateparks are a win-win because skateboarders have a place to pursue their passion. Law Enforcement and business owners no longer have to spend their time, money and energy “shooing away” skateboarders.
4) skateboarding has significant physical health benefits.
– arguably the most important reason in participating in action sports is that it keeps you healthy and physically fit. Finding an activity that gets kids off the couch and keeps them in shape is vital for the youth of this nation, especially in this time of a national health crisis.
5) skateboarding has significant mental health benefits.
– skateboarding is unique activity because it combines extreme physical exertion with precise muscle coordination and balance. The complexity of performing tricks improves brain function at a fundamental level and stimulates new cell growth.
6) skateparks have positive economic impact.
Skateboarders and their families are a tourism source all on their own. Bringing about economic stimulation for the city. The tourists dine and book rooms. Local events and school programs also contribute to a stable economic growth for local business’s.

Skate Park in El Camino Real

On December 15th the Park & Rec Commission approved the El Camino Real park as the skate, scooter and bike friendly park in San Juan Capistrano. Of the of the 5 location  that the Commission reviewed, this was best suited for the location of a skatepark in this underutilized park.

The nice thing it is accessible without passing through any housing Developments or neighborhoods. The park is almost almost a half mile long with ample parking. OCTA #91 has six north and south bound bus stops. There is a bike trail already in existence. The pre existing bathroom are a bonus saving thousand of dollars. A safety feature that is already there is the park lawn that separate the bike trail from Camino Capistrano.  Regarding sound issues  east of the Park is the bike trail, Camino Capistrano and a 75 foot embankment then homes . To the west is a Metrolink fence, Metrolink rail way and a sound wall before any housing.From a security standpoint The OCSD has very clear view from Camino Capistrano of the park. Another level of community supervision is the new exercise trail, which more adults will be using the park.

In the park is a small picnic area that needs to be refurbished. As a organization that offers tutoring and training seminars. We lack a brick and mortar location this would be great place to teach children on occasion. The benefit of 3 to 4 cover picnic tables would be a great community meeting spot.

The actual design of the street skatepark feature should be left to the opinions of local skater and professional skatepark designers and builders. Transition from one feature to the next is crucial. As for aesthetics it is very important that adhere to the cultural mandate of San Juan Capistrano. We  believe that is will be a great opportunity to have beautiful gateway sign welcoming visitors into our town.

Website work in progress

So finally we got around to having someone set up our website properly. It will be a few days, but please feel free to stay updated with us through our Facebook page.

*update* 12/24/14 – And done. Looks like everything is in place. More photos should be up momentarily in the gallery event section.

Donations in all forms

How can you get involved? We love our donations in all forms for instance Drive Traffic Media donated time for training our kids for social media and also trained us on how to blog on our website. Click here to change a kids life Click Here.



Thank You for Helping

WOW!  Summer flew by this year. Now we have fabulous stories to tell about what we did and what we accomplished. Each one of our story will differ about the same events when we reminisce. They will continue to improve over time, like a good old fish story. Great Opportunities‘ goal is to open as many doors of adventure to as many disadvantaged children as possible, as available resources permit. These children will carry these moments for a life time.

We as an organization can arrange these opportunities but only with the gracious support from people that believe in our mission. We believe the aquatic environment is the tool that can change the future of children in a positive way. For many, these excursion are a once in a lifetime experience.  You have provided these opportunities to kids that might never have had that chance.

As a co-founder and the Chairman of Fun of Great Opportunities I would like to thank you. Without your belief and backing in what we do, I would never have the chance to GIVE THE STOKE AWAY to kids in need of being stoked.

At your service

Eric Groos

P.S. To see and follow what we have accomplished together go to http://www.facebook.com/greatopportunities

Ricardo and Rosa Beas, Go Heroes

I am publishing a feature on Ricardo and Rosa Beas for the upcoming issue of South County Magazine and would like to include testimonials/thoughts on them as people, local business owners, philanthropists, community involvement, etc.

Jody Robinson, editor
Community Publications
HB Magazine, Orange Magazine, South County Magazine, Newport Mesa Magazine & Marmalade – a SoCal Family Magazine
5901 Warner Avenue, Suite 321
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
(714) 596-6611 (direct)
(714) 469-3495 (mobile)
(714) 845-9940 (fax)
Thank you Jody for the chance to brag about my friend and mentor Ricardo Beas. He does so many positive things for the beach cities community.  It is hard to single out any one situation, he has always been our champion. Rosa and his philanthropy are well known throughout South Orange County. GREAT OPPORTUNITIES has been on the receiving end of their kindness many times. I have known Ricardo since our days at San Clemente High School. Where we graduated together with the class of 1977. Today we are S.J.C. Chamber of Commerce members and also members of the San Juan Capistrano Latino Business Council. Just a couple of the many organization he and Rosa are involved with.

I’m a co-founding director with my brother David Groos of GREAT OPPORTUNITIES. We are a youth based nonprofit with an educational focus on our local aquatic world. Our goal is to open the door of opportunity for at risk kids.

Like most directors I’m involved with every facet of the operation of our organization. With no formal training, mistakes are often made during the development of new programs or events. This is where my friend really stand out and helps me make the appropriate decisions. He is my mentor and his opinion is highly valued. He is soft spoken and doesn’t offer his opinion unless asked.  His level headed approach is non offensive to my detractors. After time I’ve learned that their opinions only distract me from the importance of the job at hand. He tells me, “this is a nonprofit, enjoy your good work stay focused”.  So I thank him for his sage advice and I continue about my business to help my community the best I can. To this day our successes is self evident because of his mentoring.

So this is my story about Ricardo Beas. I know of many other organization that he has supported and guide through the years with his lovely wife Rosa. But those stories should be told by those people and organizations that they have helped.




P.S. Please like and follow us on www.facebook.com/greatopportunities to learn more about what we are doing.

GO’s Requested Letter

Hello I hope all is well.

Budget cuts have devastated after school and summer programs in low income neighborhoods. Beneficial and affordable programs are difficult to locate in these deprived areas. These young children then spend their afternoon and summer vacation with minimal supervision, make these youth susceptible to the influences of gangs. Not to mention lack of mind stimulating activities. For over the last decade Great Opportunities have provided learning programs for children. We believes if it opens the doors of opportunity through education, first hand experiences and positive mentoring. The child will be better prepared to handle leadership roles in our program, school and their community. This is and will continue to benefit all concerned.

Our mission focuses on high density low income neighborhoods in San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano which are under the Orange County, California Gang Injunction zone. Many of the children don’t have the discretionary income to participate in other organized actives and events. We ask the participants parents for a donation. However, we will not turn a kid away for nonpayment. Great Opportunities provides under advantaged kids the opportunity to see their potential and understand that they can achieve anything if they believe in themselves. We are about opening the doors for children and exposing them to the possibilities; the decision is theirs our job is to give them the tools they will need to achieve. We will often develop new programs to service a public need while we are still generating a dedicated funding stream.

Our financial support is solely derived from the gracious gifts from businesses and foundations and like minded individuals. It would be great to find a way that we can work together this year to better our community.

Here are the links I mention. This blog has more detail while face has a real up to date time line.https://greatopportunitiesblog.wordpress.com/
Follow us on Facebook htts://facebook.com/GreatOpportunities
If you see any thing that would like to help with please let me know.

Thank you.
Eric Groos, COF 949-370-5656
30986 Calle San Diego
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

P.S. We have a few more project in the wings, remind me to talk about them.


We look forward to this summer season of helping kids reach their potential and understand that they can achieve anything if they believe in themselves.


The “Swim and Learn” program of San Clemente was started in 2010 by Great Opportunities member Isabela Michelle Blanda. After growing up in San Clemente by Las Palmas school, being a student there and being in numerous swim programs she saw many of her friends from this area were not participating in them and many did not know how to swim. This was mainly due to the price of programs, the lack of knowing that at times scholarships were available and the registration process itself. Over the years she also had tutored in several locations, one being the San Clemente Boys and Girls club and saw many behind in their math skills and not because of learning disabilities but because of focus and not getting the chance to apply themselves. Because of what she saw and knowing the pool was available at certain times she made and submitted a proposal to the city of San Clemente combining a swim and math lesson (the math lessons she gave) at little or no cost to participants to address these problems. The program was embraced by the city and the first “Swim and Learn” program was born.

Swim and Learn started at the Ole Hanson Pool and was offered as a first come first served, walk in daily registration program for just one dollar. This was to address the above problems and obstacles which were keeping the local kids from learning how to swim. Michelle had to go to Las Palmas school, the Cinco de Mayo event and other programs to advertise the program. This was a great first start but time was limited. The first year walk in daily registrations were 220, the second year it more than doubled  with 450 then the Ole Hanson pool closed for repairs and the new Hermosa Aquatic  Center opened. With this came transportation problems for many of the children that had been participating. The city generously purposed to expand the program so the children received complete Red Cross swim lessons, receive and hour of education including math along with presentations they participate in including, Bullying, Recycling, How to make the World a better place to mention just some. Along with this buses would be needed to transport these kids to this new community facility. We suggested to use the successful ‘Fun on the Run” program which most of the children in the underserved community areas all ready participated in to expand  “Swim and Learns” reach to all parts of the city and use these points as the busses pick-up and drop off points. Scholarships would also be made available to these children. The complete summer program which is four Fridays starting in July serves a full bus of children (Approx. 65-70) and extra children are offered swim programs through the city with scholarships. The last day the parents are invited to join their children in an extra hour of fun for free so they to get introduced to the new Aquatic Center. This program is helping to include all children in San Clemente use this new beautiful community facility while teaching them how to swim and brush up on their math skills over the summer.

At Great Opportunities we do our best to have a no-kid left behind policy. We deal with hundreds of children each year who are left out in summer. We are proud to help sponsor and work with the City of San Clemente to continue the valuable “Swim and Learn” program so all children can participate in what this great city has to offer.

Marty Blanda, Director

A lifetime of surfing and ocean experience around many parts of the world .

Six years working with Great Opportunities on all activities and responsible for introducing math tutoring and the Explorer program to Great Opportunities.    Five and a half years working with San Juan Capistrano outreach and food distribution program. Responsible for taking applications and dealing with problems people face in this area. Helping with getting needed services and food to those in need. Has also been involved with senior and homeless outreach.

In past has been involved with youth and health collaborative working to get low or no cost sports and math programs for youth in this area.