Maine Cancer Society and Roller Derby Need Our Help!

Maine Cancer Society and Roller Derby Need Our Help!


I hope you are having a good winter!

I am reaching out today because an organization I care deeply about needs our help. There are two local organizations that are close to my heart, and worthy of me sending out emails asking for help/support/donations. The first is Maine Cancer Foundation, because CANCER. The other is Maine Roller Derby for lots of little reasons that maybe aren't as big as the word cancer, but are a pretty big deal.

To bring you up to speed, my league has been presented with an opportunity to purchase the building that houses Happy Wheels Skate Center on Warren Avenue in Portland. We are under contract and have until March 7th to raise the down payment we would need to make this an option for our league. We are trying to raise $400,000 by reaching out to both big donors/ corporations, as well as friends and family who can make several small donations. And we all know, lots of small donations can make a huge difference! This is why I am emailing you.

If Maine Roller Derby can not raise the down payment for the building, the space known Happy Wheels will then be for sale on the open market. It is the final remaining roller rink left in Southern Maine. The risk is if the building is sold to someone else it is not guaranteed to remain as a roller rink, or as an important piece of our local community. The people who run Happy Wheels are some of the nicest people you will ever meet, and have been running this business for decades. They do not own the actual building, so this building coming up for sale puts them in a vulnerable position. If our league is able to purchase it, we will not only keep Happy Wheels as a tenant, we will help preserve roller skating and rink culture in Southern Maine.

This is a far better option than the building becoming an auto parts store, which is what happened to the former Happy Wheels in Scarborough.

So, we are in the wild throes of a capital campaign and we need every donation we can get. Can you help? Can you keep a piece of community going and thriving?

Did you learn to roller skate at Happy Wheels?
Have you had a birthday party there?  OR Throw a birthday party there for your own children?
Have ever taken a Zumba, Punk Rope, or Derby Lite class there?
Gone to see a roller derby bout?
Or maybe you used it as a set for your short film, commercial, or music video?

Now can you imagine if that space was not available for any of these purposes? With over 30,000 visitors each year, I can tell you this: no Happy Wheels would be a huge loss for our community.

The rink use goes far beyond just the roller derby community. But there are currently 3 leagues using the space to practice, compete, and help our sport grow.

So, Maine Roller Derby needs your help. Either through donations to reach our goal, or sharing this with connections you may have to help us get our story in front of enough of the right people to make this a reality.

To learn more about this and our goals, please visit our website page about our Capital Campaign (or copy and paste this link: ) -- You will see a Support MRD/ DONATE button if you scroll down a little.

Reminder: Maine Roller Derby is now a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit organization, so your donation is tax deductible!

You can follow us and stay tuned in here on Facebook. 

I could tell you 100 stories of how roller derby has impacted my life, and I will gladly meet up with you if you want to hear about any of it. But my love for this rink has been going for over 30 years. I learned to skate at Happy Wheels as a kid, and spent many weekends in those birthday rooms eating cake and celebrating with friends. As an adult, I spent my 40th birthday at Happy Wheels, skating through my nerves at my final practice before passing through Maine Roller Derby's Fresh Meat training. I turned 40, strapped on skates, laughed with my new pals, and then found out a day later I was an official member of this league and this great sport!

That was over 4 years ago. I had no idea what I was doing back then, but I simply knew I was glad roller skating had become a part of my life again. Since then I have not only logged countless hours of practice time at Happy Wheels, but have skated with derby friends at an 8 year old's birthday party (photo attached), in a music video, and on a set for an independent film. Proving the importance of keeping this rink as a staple in our community so it can continue to help support families, children, athletes, and artists.

I hope you will consider donating to our capital campaign to help preserve roller skating in Southern Maine!

Here are some handy links:
A very cool music video made at Happy Wheels in 2015
This fantastic short film was made at Happy Wheels, that still makes me laugh EVERY TIME.

And please enjoy some attached images of the fun I have been having at Happy Wheels for over 30 years! Let's help make is these moments keep happening.

Thank you for reading. Please reach out if you have questions. And please let me know if you donate so we can be sure to send you extra thank yous!

Stay awesome,
~ Judy


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