Burning River Roller Girls Benefit For Cleveland APL

Hallie Witwer
Need something fun to do that you may have never tried before? Been wondering where all the true bad-asses of Cleveland have been hiding? Then hit up the Burning River Roller Girls' benefit for the Cleveland Animal Protective League on November 20th. These ladies will rock your world while making you realize that women aren't always just sugar, spice, and everything nice. With an energizing atmosphere, a great competitive sporting match, and an entertaining halftime show of full contact musical chairs, I really don't know why anyone would miss it.

The whole Roller Derby experience had me intrigued and as I researched the event I found myself wanting to know more. I was able to ask Amanda Leone (a.k.a. CupQuake), who is one of the Roller Girls' very own, a few questions about the event and organization in general-

AltOhio: So Amanda, how long have you a roller derby girl?

Amanda: I've been a member of the Burning River Roller Girls since August 2009, making it just over a year.

AO: What made you want to be a part of the roller derby organization?

A: I saw an ad in Scene magazine for their semi-finals bout in June 2009. There was a small banner at the bottom of the ad that said 'want to be a derby girl? Visit our website for more information'. And right then on the spur of the moment I decided I was going to do it. I signed up, went to the semi-finals bout and that further cemented my decision.

AO: What would you say is the most enjoyable aspect of the organization?

A: Working with a huge group of women that are all athletic, competitive, and a lot of fun. I'd never been an athlete before, so learning to work with a team and push myself to do things I didn't think I could do was, and still is, very enjoyable.

AO: Can you explain who the event on November 20th will be benefiting?

A: Black and Blue 5 will benefit the Cleveland APL. Because of that we're doing a 'dogs v cats' team theme. $3 of every ticket sale will go to the APL. We also held an auction for the chance to guest captain each team, which raised another $460 that will go straight to the APL.

AO: Do you guys do any other charity events throughout the year?

A: We don't have any other bouts that directly benefit any charities, but we are still very involved in the community throughout the year. We have a 'street team' that attends various events throughout the year. They hand out information on the league and make people aware of our existence in Cleveland. Last year, a few we did were helping with distribution at a Coats for Kids event, the Lakewood 4th of July Parade, and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. In total we attended 21 events!

Every year the league raises money for organizations through the Black and Blue bout. Money raised in past years has gone to the Cleveland Food Bank, Aids Task Force of Greater Cleveland, Toys for Tots, and Coats for Kids. Come to the Wolstein Center on November 20th at 6 pm and be a part of this year's Black and Blue 5: The Fur "Brawl"! With tickets at only $15 for adults and $6 for kids ages 12 and under, there's no reason not to treat yourself to an incredible time and contribute to an amazing cause!