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Published on September 9th, 2011 | by Busta Armov

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L.A. Hosts Benefit for Bay Area

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Derby Dolls (LADD), L.A.’s banked track roller derby league, is pitching in to help their Bay Area sisters with a beer garden fundraiser during the L.A. Derby Dolls vs. Tilted Thunder Rail Birds game at the Doll Factory in Los Angeles on Sunday, September 11 starting at 3pm PDT.

On July 9, the Richmond Wrecking Belles defeated the Berkeley Resistance, 130-98, to take home the Bay Area Derby Girls (BADG) intraleague season championship. The celebration of the culmination of their season was short lived, however, as the night took on a nasty turn. “After our intraleague championship bout, two of our league members were followed from the venue and robbed at gunpoint of the evening’s funds. This included not only profit, but reserve money as well. It was in the thousands, and a significant hit to our non-profit league,” says Tae Kwon Ho, a spokesperson for BADG.

“Like most other leagues, we are a 501(c)(3) [non-profit] and heavily dependent on events to sustain our league operations and pay for our practice space. The money would have helped us stay in our practice warehouse through our season hiatus, as well as help pay for our Travel Team to go to [WFTDA] Regionals,” Ho said, explaining how the loss will affect her league.

“The police are STILL investigating this armed robbery, and the only justice we have received has been from our roller derby and Bay Area community. The outpouring of love from the roller derby community, our fans, local businesses in the Bay Area, the media and other non-profit organizations has been tremendous and humbling,” she added.

The B.A.D. Girls have the full story on their website.

“The Derby Dolls are helping to host [this fundraiser] and have donated their Party Room in the Doll Factory to Bay Area Derby Girls for use as a Beer Garden Fundraiser at this Sunday’s bout,” says Brandi Iron, representing LADD Partnerships. “In addition, there is overwhelming support from the Southern California derby community to come out and volunteer at the event. Skaters from ACDG, OCRG, and SDDD will also be working the event. And many others volunteering to come out and drink,” Iron says, adding, “All proceeds and tips after costs will go to Bay Area Derby Girls.”

Demanda Riot will be representing BADG at the event and slinging beers behind the bar, according to Iron.

The Doll Factory is the practice and bouting facility of the Los Angeles Derby Dolls. It’s a 55,000 sq. ft. warehouse (previously an ice cream cone factory) with a capacity of 1700 on event days. The beer garden/fundraiser will be taking place in the “Party Room” adjacent to the flat track area, which plays host to a stage and vendors in their “Vendor Villiage” during bouts.

“We host several double header weekends throughout the year, with Sunday being an all ages bout. Whereas Saturday bouts are 21 plus. Typically, there is no alcohol at our all ages bouts, but when we heard about the BAD Girls’ robbery, we wanted to help out and knew that we could donate the Party Room space to them for a fundraiser,” Iron adds, explaining that the beer garden will have the only alcohol served at the game.

LADD’s RaD Crew (Research and Development) who handle all the Derby Dolls production, video, webcast and audio; have set up video screens in the Doll Factory’s Vendor Village and Party Room so that the bout can be viewed almost anywhere in the building.

“The robbery that BADG experienced was horrible and could have happened to any of us. We are all playing roller derby and growing this great sport, just on different surfaces and slightly different rule sets,” Iron adds.

“Obviously, we cannot thank the L.A. Derby Dolls enough for their kindness,” Ho says. “Once the robbery occurred, we received support from friends like Razorslut and Tara Armov who helped spread the word. Then I got an email from my former teammate, Brandi Iron, who wanted to go above and beyond and donate the entire bar proceeds for an upcoming bout.”

Adds Iron, “There are lots of friendships that exist between LADD and BADG and we have played with and against their skaters on conglomerate teams like Team Legit and Team Cruz. For one, Tae Kwon Ho is very dear to us and started her derby career with LADD. We look forward to more opportunities to work together and play against each other.”

“We were speechless and very touched. I am a Derby Doll for life and to receive support for my current league from my former one meant a great deal to me, though I think LADD was just paying B.A.D. for taking me off their hands,” Ho says with a smile. “We also received a significant donation from a long time L.A. Derby Dolls and Fight Crew fan, who heard about our cause from Tara Armov. He’s never even seen a bout of ours so this was purely through his devotion to roller derby itself. So our gratitude to LADD extends to all of the fans.”

Ho also wants to thank all of the derby community for their show of support, “The outpouring of support has been global. We have received donations from skaters as far away as Australia (thanks, Wolf Whistle!) and all over the country, from skaters from the DC Rollergirls to the San Diego Derby Dolls and in-between. We are so grateful for the incredible generosity of not only friends, but many leagues that we’ve never really directly interacted with.”

Other leagues that have donated and supported BADG include Humboldt Roller Derby, Brewcity Bruisers, Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, Sac City Rollers, Monterrey Derby Dames, Fabulous Sin City Rollergirls and the Angel City Derby Girls. “We are also very grateful to those who participated and attended our Golden Bowl tournament, including our sponsors, the Texas Rollergirls, Detroit Derby Girls, Windy City Rollers, the referees, NSOs and announcers,” Ho says.

“We thank everyone’s God that our leaguemates were not physically harmed,” Ho says, explaining that at least all the league lost was money. “That is the one thing that we would never have been able to recover from. So we are learning from this experience. We’ve always known that the roller derby community is among the most supportive and giving, and this exemplifies how quickly and generously those in the community mobilize and react. I speak for all of my leaguemates in B.A.D. when I say that we were brought to tears by the support; there are no words to describe how we feel, only gratitude.”

She adds, “We hope to be able to repay the kindness of all those who supported us and sent us well wishes.”

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