Keweenaw Path Fundraiser 2016

On Saturday, May 14th, individuals from all over our community made their way to Copper Harbor, MI for the 12th Annual Keweenaw Path Fundraiser. Keweenaw Path was started in order to raise funds and awareness for our local shelter which benefits those who have been affected by domestic violence.

Participants started their journey from all over the peninsula. Some biked from Houghton, some walked the entire length of the road that climbs and descends Brockway Mountain, and others ran and roller skated from Esrey Park along the lakeshore, all to join together in festivities at the Copper Harbor Community Center.

Keweenaw Peninsula Land

When everyone in the Keweenaw woke up on Saturday morning it was hovering around 30 degrees. The wind was taunting and a light dusting of snow attempted to intimidate those who were to be outside for the day. We’re Yoopers though, and born here or not, we’re resilient and prepared, it’s a part of the living.

We bundled in more protective gear that usual and we set off for what was to be a beautiful day. Mittens covering our wrist guards, and knit hats stuffed under our helmets we made our way along M-26 followed by a cool gal in a Chevy El Camino with a sign hanging off the back that read: CAUTION: Skaters Ahead!

KRG Keweenath Path 2016
Within a few strides we heated right up, the snow flurries looked no more intimidating than the down of a duck and the roaring waves of Lake Superior became our soundtrack for the next 9 miles.

We are so very fortunate to live in a place this beautiful and to be able to act to benefit our community in ways like this.  The Keweenaw is home to compassionate people and a community ethic second to none. Since its beginning Keweenaw Path has raised thousands of dollars for the shelter through the efforts of participants, organizers, and donations. Here’s to another successful year!

If you would like to donate – please make all checks payable to the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter and mail payment to:


Keweenaw Path Fundraiser

PO Box 164, Copper Harbor, Michigan, 49918

And we begin another revolution…

Revolution is what we know. It’s in our blood and is wired into our brains. We learn it as kids when we play; riding bikes, rolling a ball down a hill, hula-hooping. It’s more or less what makes the world happen. The Earth does it’s thing around the Sun, and everything else follows suit. It only makes sense that we find ourselves so familiar with the concept, and naturally attracted to roller derby, content to orbit in it’s atmosphere.

Revolution has many meanings, and most all apply to life in roller derby.
Merriam-Webster states:

Full Definition of REVOLUTION

1

a (1) :  the action by a celestial body of going round in an orbit or elliptical course; also :  apparent movement of such a body round the earth (2) :  the time taken by a celestial body to make a complete round in its orbit (3) :  the rotation of a celestial body on its axis

b :  completion of a course (as of years); also :  the period made by the regular succession of a measure of time or by a succession of similar events

c (1) :  a progressive motion of a body around an axis so that any line of the body parallel to the axis returns to its initial position while remaining parallel to the axis in transit and usually at a constant distance from it (2) :  motion of any figure about a center or axis <revolution of a right triangle about one of its legs generates a cone> (3) :  rotation 1b

2

a :  a sudden, radical, or complete change

b :  a fundamental change in political organization; especially :  the overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed

c :  activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation

d :  a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something :  a change of paradigm <the Copernican revolution>

e :  a changeover in use or preference especially in technology <the computer revolution> <the foreign car revolution>

Certain parts of this definition stand out to me, particularly the “change” aspect, “motion,” “completion,” and “returning.” Philosophical as it may be, these aspects are very much witnessed when you’ve been around the derby culture for awhile, long enough to see a revolution. Each season bring new components, new people, new life. We being another revolution every time. New skaters move forward, progress in physical skill, overcome ideas of themselves and what they’re capable of. As they move forward and complete their own revolutions, both literally and figuratively, they return back to the beginning, having been changed in the process.

And that’s where we are now; again. We’re now going in to our fifth rendition of our training program for new skaters. Some of us are still around from the beginning, some were rookies this last year, but all of us have completed our revolutions. We’ve grown individually and together, and now get to witness and guide the beginning of new revolutions. Tonight we will have the honor or introducing these new gals to the joy of this sport, what it means to be tried, and to be examples of what it means to prevail over ourselves and our previous conceptions. When we look back from one year from now, I hope we can all see our evolution in all the revolutions.

Wrath and Hoppe

Venus Vixens vs Uranus United

On one of the hottest nights in the Keweenaw, 27 skater’s from 7 leagues came together in Hancock, Michigan to take on one another in the 3rd Annual Solar System Smackdown. The Smackdown was KRG’s first ever roller derby event held in August of 2013, and has since become a well known gathering for meeting up with old derby friends, and making new ones.

Skaters from the Keweenaw Roller Girls, Mad Rollin’ Dolls, Chippewa Valley Roller Girls, Dead River Derby, Paper Valley Roller Girls, Rockford Rage, and the Lansing Derby Vixens were all represented Saturday evening, supported by an excellent officiating crew from Lansing, Dead River, Chippewa Valley and KRG.

sss_website_teams_2

(from left to right) DJ Jazzy Jeff the Ref, Otto Korrect, Glock N Load, Standard Steviation, and Boba Thrett
(from left to right) DJ Jazzy Jeff the Ref, Otto Korrect, Glock N Load, Standard Steviation, and Boba Thrett – Photo by Jim Pintar

The Venus Vixens got off to a heck of a start with a massive lead obtained by skater, Yoop #22, of Dead River Derby. Fierce and strong, she pulled off a 30-something point jam with the help of some brutal defense, leaving Uranus United working hard to catch up in the first half.

The second half was much like the first, with some glimmers of hope for Uranus United, as their blocking lines began to work more seamlessly, utilizing diamond formations to their advantage they were able to keep hold. However, the Venus Vixen’s defense was just a power house and left many of Uranus United’s jammers fighting in the pack, allowing the Vixen’s jammers to rack up the points.

Camaraderie was present from all on the track despite the point spread; fist bumps on the jam line, laughter, and playful mocking was seen throughout the night. Great gameplay and showmanship from both sides made it an exciting game to watch, causing many crowd “Ooooos” and “Ahhhhhs” as skaters collided and displayed fancy foot work.
Final Score
The game ended in favor of the Vixens, with a 129 point lead over Uranus. After the game, each team huddled separately to select an MVP for the opposing team based on not only skill, but also attitude and spirit. The recipients of the very special, galactic Solar System Smackdown MVP awards: Phee Nix of the Venus Vixens and Glory Sparks of Uranus United – both members of Marquette’s Dead River Derby!

Solar System Smackdown MVPs - Phee Nix (left) and Glory Sparks (right)
Solar System Smackdown MVPs – Phee Nix (left) and Glory Sparks (right) – Photo by Jim Pintar

Who will the Vixen’s take on next year, and can they hold on to the title? We’ll have to wait and see.

Both Teams - SSS 2015
Both teams and referees on the Solar System Smackdown 2015 – Photo by Jim Pintar

For more pictures from the event, please check out Jim Pintar’s flickr gallery here.

KRG becomes a WFTDA Apprentice League

We are incredibly excited and proud to announce that KRG has been accepted as an apprentice league to the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. This means that we are now officially a member of the wider, international roller derby community (seriously, check out this list of new leagues, roller derby is taking over THE WORLD!). We’ll have access to lots of new resources that will help us up our game and bring you the best derby we can. Thank you so much to the skaters, volunteers, and fans who have made this all possible. We can’t wait to continue growing with you. Much derby love!