August 20, 2014

Roller Derby Girls Make a Difference

by Lauren Bailey

This is an article from These gals give with us on a regular basis, and we are so glad to have them as part of CBCC's life-saving team!

Twelve skaters and volunteers from the Gastonia Roller Derby Club took time out of their hard-hitting schedules to donate blood last week. At the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas off Franklin Road in Gastonia, a total of twelve pints of blood were donated, potentially saving thirty-six local lives.

Audrey “Goldie Knockers” Brewer had never donated before, and even though she was quite nervous about the process, she knew it was something she wanted to do for her community. “What I love about donating at the CBCC is that I know my donated blood will stay within my community,” she said after donating. “It was just a bonus that my teammates– who are always by my side on and off the track– were by my side while I donated as well.”

The roller derby team, which practices at Kate’s Skating Rink off of Hudson Blvd. in Gastonia, holds practice four nights a week. They have games– called “bouts”– once a month, usually on Sundays. It is really important to the team to give back to the community in some way every month, whether it’s collecting food donations for a local women’s shelter or donating school supplies. Donating blood only felt natural.

The CBCC has locations all over the Charlotte-metro area, as well as mobile blood donation buses. This particular donation center is conveniently located in Gastonia. A few members of the team could not make it in the evening to donate, so they were able to swing by earlier in the day for their donation appointments.

Eileen “Wounda Woman” Venuto has been skating with G*Force, the women’s roller derby team, for just over a year. She stopped by that morning before reporting for work to donate her pint. “I was really shocked at how quick and easy it was to donate. The staff who helped us were friendly and incredibly accommodating, and the process was virtually painless. It feels good to give back– saving three lives before lunch is all it takes to make me feel like a superhero!” 

“Each member of our team skates under an often-funny derby pseudonym, but when it comes down to it, we are people just the same. We understand how important it is to be present in our community and help others. After all, you never know, one of us could need that blood down the road. It feels good to know we are doing our part,” said Goldie.

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