States on Skates

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On March 5, 2015, a group of roller derby athletes will lace up their skates at the Atlantic Ocean and begin a long journey west to the Pacific. These women are not just skating for the incredible life
experiences that inevitably intersect with such a journey; they are fueled by the desire to make a positive impact in the worldwide community, skating to benefit the Joyful Heart Foundation
(joyfulheartfoundation.org), a non-profit organization that works to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.

The journey will take them over 2,800 miles in 78 days, through 8 states, starting in Cocoa Beach, FL, and ending in Santa Monica, CA. Along the way they aim to connect with at least 30 roller derby leagues and as many domestic violence shelters and programs as possible. The States On Skates team will be representing the NO MORE campaign (nomore.org), a transformative initiative to unite our entire society around the simple message that together we can end domestic violence and sexual assault.

Four women have committed to skating the entire distance, coast to coast, while 6-8 additional skaters will join them for partial distances; all participants are active members of the Ark Valley High Rollers
roller derby league, based in Salida, CO. Skating an average of 42 miles per day, the group plans to camp most nights, with occasional hotel stays, and one day of rest each week. They will, indeed, be skating on traditional roller skates (not inline skates), as used in their sport of roller derby, and will push their own gear in Thule Chariot strollers.

By undertaking a challenge of this magnitude they hope to empower victims and survivors of abuse, inspire positive change in our local and global communities, and raise $50,000 for the Joyful Heart
Foundation. To donate online, and for more information about this life-changing endeavor, visit StatesOnSkates.com. All donations are tax-deductible, and offer a great opportunity for showing your support.

The States On Skates team is very grateful to their sponsors so far: Riedell Skates, KEEN Footwear, Panama Jack, Thule, Wanderlust:Wanderlearn, Moonlight Pizza & Brew Pub, Wood’s High Mountain Distillery, Bensons Tavern, Elevation Beer Co,  and the support of the Ark Valley High Rollers league. To help the team meet the remaining tangible needs for this journey, please contact Gracie Cole at gracie@alumni.duke.edu or via graciecole.com.

The next fundraiser for the cause will be held on Feb 28, 2015 at Benson’s Tavern in Salida. The Kick Off Party  will include live music by Eden’s Lane from Durango, CO, silent auction items and more shenanigans to send these ladies off on their grand adventure.

Meanwhile, be sure to visit the trip website at StatesOnSkates.com and follow their Facebook page at facebook.com/StatesOnSkates.