Champion skateboarder to speak on religion

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Dennis Martinez, a world-champion skateboarder in the 1970s, will be in Vancouver this weekend and early next week to visit local skate parks and speak out about his rise to fame, his struggle with drug addiction and how finding Christ changed his life. His skate park visits require paid admission but other events are free.

Martinez is now senior pastor at Training Center, a Christian drug and alcohol treatment center in California that deals largely with men emerging from prison. He is also a volunteer chaplain at a Calipatria State Prison. He was featured in the 2008 documentary film "Fallen Idols Aka D.O.P.E.," which profiled legendary skateboarders whose success pointed them toward drugs and crime. (D.O.P.E. stands for Death Or Prison Eventually.)

Martinez's appearances includes:

• 3 p.m. March 1 and March 2, Ripzu Indoor Skatepark, 1417 N.E. 76th St., Suite B, Vancouver; $7 for event only, $10 all-day admission for skaters/BMX riders.

• 11 a.m. March 2, The River Church, 6407 E. Mill Plain Blvd.

• 9:30 a.m. March 3, Friends of the Carpenter 1600 W. 20th St.

• Noon March 3, Full Gospel Businessmen's Luncheon, La Costa Mexican Restaurant, 4708 N.E. Thurston Way.

• 6:30 p.m. March 3, Aglow International Ministry at Shiloh Fellowship Church, 10709 S.E. 10th St.

For information, call Tom Iberle at Friends of the Carpenter, 360-903-3626.