Oakley's Stephen Murray's Big Surprise


When Stephen was injured a friend donated a van to him.  Stephen was much taller than the van’s previous owner and he didn’t fit through the door when the lift was raised up.  This caused him to have to lean back and almost tip over every time he got in or out.  This was only the beginning of the troubles with the van.

After Stephen invested several thousand dollars into the van for modifications and mechanical repairs it still was a huge hindrance to Stephen’s recovery.  The ride in the van was so bumpy that every time he would attend therapy and get all loosened up the ride home would reverse all of his progress.  He would spend all the time in the van trying to keep from further injuring his neck. 

Still he had other issues including breaking down on the side of the freeway on his way to therapy with his mom and John Jennings (care taker / BMX rider) with him.

The Athlete Recovery Fund’s project of making the van so much more than getting Stephan from point A to point B started back in September.  The Athlete Recovery Fund is a 501© 3 who’s mission statement is; To provide professional athletes in BMX, FMX and Skateboarding with financial support after a severe injury and granting funds for rehabilitation, equipment, long-term disability and educational scholarships.

The first big issue was to get the vehicle and Rockstar Energy Drink got the ball rolling.  After that it was time to find the right shop to do the modifications.  Relaxed Customs was introduced to us after the dealership put in the windows and they really got the project off and running. Relaxed Customs really took a personal interest in this project and Stephen’s story discounting much of their labor and all the parts needed along the way.  The list of donated product includes:

  • Full Kicker Car Audio
  • Clarion head unit w/ DVD,Navigation and back up camera
  • Visualogic DVD and monitors
  • Lexani 20" wheels
  • General Tires
  • Spin Imaging graphics wrap
One of the most unique situations has been with Oakley Sunglasses.  Oakley helped to make the project a reality. Stephan Murray was an Oakley rider prior to his injury and after Oakley allowed Stephen to design his own artwork on their Hijinks model glasses.  Oakley and Stephen agreed that half of the royalties would go to Stephen and the other half would be distributed to charities of his choice.  After all the help that ARF had given Stephen he was now in the position to give back!

Vans shoes has also been a long time supporter of Stephen Murray as well, and when they had the opportunity they came right on board.

Ball Park Franks came up with an incredible plan for an ARF donation where Transworld, Alli and Ball Park produced a 3 minute video for which they donated $1 for every time someone watched the video.  We all pushed traffic to the site www.SupportARF.com and accomplished our goal of 100,000 views in just about a month and a half.  Ball Park Franks donated $100,000 in an amazing way that not only helped us raise money but also spread the awareness of what ARF does.  Ball Park Franks was the biggest supporter of ARF in 2009.

Every supporter of the Athlete Recovery Fund has a logo on the bottom of the van, minus a couple of our newest donors including Haro, Premium, Subrosa, The Shadow Conspiracy, and Totino’s.  Time was a huge factor on this project.  To check out all of our supporters on the ARF contributors page where you can link to their websites, click Here

There is a ton of coverage to come from this project documenting the process from the beginning.  FUEL TV will have exclusive footage on “The Daily Habit” and “The Weekend Update”.  Also there to cover the reveal was Transworld BMX, BMX Plus, EXPN.com and more! 

Bottom line is that seeing the look on Stephen’s face has made it all worth while;  To see the effect that Stephen’s old van had on him and his recovery and being able to solve that problem. Next time you see this van rolling on the highway honk your horn!  Stephen Murray and family are inside!