Category Archives: Community

Taking Care of Our Own

The derby community, as big as it is in Kansas City, has seen its share of hardship in the past couple of years, and we always seem to pull together and get through it. Unfortunately, tragedy struck again over the weekend as Notorious L.I.Z., founder of the Blacksnake Rollergirls, and her family lost their home to a fire. No one was home at the time, so everyone is safe. The house and everything in it, though, was a total loss.

But as always, we’re coming together to take care of our own.

Click to see the Go Fund Me fundraiser page.

MX Plosion, formerly of the Kansas City Banked Beauties and now refereeing for the Blacksnake Rollergirls, has set up a Go Fund Me page to help Liz and her family recover from this astounding loss. As of press time, they’ve already racked up over $3,000 in donations (in the first 24 hours), but the question remains — is it really possible to do enough for a family in this situation? No. No, it is not.

So don’t be deterred by the lightning pace with which the fundraising “goal” was reached. MX has said the donation page will remain open through this coming Friday, and we’d like to see donations surpass the $5,000 mark if at all possible. If you’re at all able, even the smallest donation will add up and help this dear family as they piece their lives back together. We can’t even imagine the loss. But the good the community is already doing is enough to bring a tear to the eye, although we frankly wouldn’t expect anything less from the people of Kansas City roller derby.

Other Ways to Help

What’s that you say? What are some other things you can do to help the Notorious family during this extremely difficult time? We’re sure glad you asked:

To begin with, you can drop off donations of clothing and toys at the St. Joseph Firefighters Hall on Tuesday nights from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It’s located at 4314 S. 40th St, St. Joseph MO 64507.

In addition, there’s also a Rummage and Bake Sale Fundraiser happening on April 26th in at the corner of Grand and Walnut in Cameron, Missouri. Follow that linky-pooh to see the Facebook event page. There’s a list of things they’ll be accepting as donations for the fundraiser, and they’ll even make arrangements to pick things up if you’re not able to go very far.

And finally, KC Carr of KC Derby Digest will be making a trip up to St. Joseph this Saturday to take donations of clothing, toys, gift cards, and anything else you might want to send along. Feel free to e-mail him at kcderbydigest [at] gmail-dot-com, and he’ll make arrangements for pick-up/drop off of any donations you’re generous enough to provide.

Edited to add: Many of you have been asking for needed clothing sizes, so we’re updating today’s post to include those. There are seven individuals altogether: two adults (male and female), plus three boys and two girls:

Men’s size L shirts, 32×34 pants, 10.5 shoes
Women’s size S shirts, 10 pants, 7 shoes
Baby boy clothes, 3-6 months
Size 2-3t girls 6 shoes
Size 5 girls size 11 shoes
Size 6 boys size 11 shoes
Size 8 boys size 3 shoes

Seventh Day Benefit Concert

Finally, the band Seventh Day, always a friend to Kansas City roller derby, is donating all advance ticket proceeds from their show this Saturday, April 12 to benefit the Notorious L.I.Z. family.

Click to see the Facebook event page.

The show will be held at the All-Star Rock Bar at 7210 NE 43rd Street in KCMO. The first band will go on at 9:00, and the show will also feature Approaching Midnight and The Summit. (Order of the bands won’t be known until showtime.) Details on how to order advance tickets are posted on the Facebook event page, just click that photo right there.

In addition to the advance ticket donation, Seventh Day will be raffling off this guitar, which will be autographed by all members of the band and presented to the winner of the raffle at the end of the show Saturday night. All proceeds from the raffle will, of course, go to help the family as well.

Click to see the full-size photo.

We simply can’t thank you all enough for your unbelievable support. The Kansas City roller derby community is like nothing we’ve ever seen. Thanks to all the leagues who have helped/donated, enormous thanks to Seventh Day for their compassion and generosity, and most of all, thank you, the readers of KC Derby Digest, who encompass all of the above and more. We couldn’t do a bit of this without you.

KC Roller Derby at the 2014 Polar Plunge

The annual Polar Plunge and 5k Strut to benefit Special Olympics Kansas is always a memorable experience, particularly for those taking the leap into the lake for such a great cause. The Kansas City roller derby leagues are there every year to help raise money for our Special Olympians, and this year was no exception. It was KC Derby Digest‘s third year joining the derby festivities out at Shawnee Mission Park, and as always, there was nary a dull moment.

I’m told that the water in the lake this year was the coldest it’s ever been, even colder than in 2011, when Plungers required the assistance of men with chainsaws to even get into the water. Longtime sponsor Papa Murphy’s was on hand to mercifully feed us pizza as the morning turned into afternoon, and the highlight of the morning had to be when Fox 4 meteorologist Michelle Bogowith‘s doberman freaked out about the drone filming the festivities from overhead. Animal comedy never disappoints.


We threw together a fun video overnight of KC Roller Derby’s day at Shawnee Mission Park and uploaded it to YouTube for your enjoyment. Feel free to share as you like, it’s only about a minute and a half long. It includes several snapshots from the event, as well as the plunge into the lake at 11 a.m.

And finally, the photo album itself. No Kansas City derby-related event would be complete without one of those:

Click for the full album.

Many thanks to Donna Zimmerman, Senior Vice President of Public Relations and Communications, for providing KC Derby Digest with press accommodations at this year’s very successful Polar Plunge and 5k Strut, and thanks as always to the incredible men and women of Kansas City roller derby for taking the time to help such a fantastic organization. We will definitely see everyone out there again next year!

2014 Polar Plunge

It’s an annual tradition in Kansas City, and once again, the amazing ladies and gents from the various Kansas City roller derby leagues will be on hand this Saturday, January 25th, to raise money for Special Olympics Kansas at the 2014 Polar Plunge & Strut.

Click for the official web site.

Full details are on the web site, but registration begins on-site at 9 a.m. this Saturday, or you can pre-register on their web site. The 5K Strut ($25) begins at 10 a.m., and the Plunge itself ($75) will begin at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., or Noon, depending on which group you’re in.

Don’t forget to check out their Plunge Day Checklist if you’ve never done this before.

The official KC Roller Derby plunge page is here.

Join KC Derby Digest and the amazing members of the Kansas City roller derby community this Saturday morning at Shawnee Mission Park Swim Beach for the annual Polar Plunge and 5K Strut to benefit Special Olympics Kansas! We will see you out there!


Well, Kansas City — and elsewhere — we did it.


Pippi: 2,240. Wendy: 0

Thanks to the selfless, generous support of 52 donors (some as far away as Pennsylvania), we managed to beat our fundraising goal of $2,000 in exactly one month. As recently as a week ago, I wouldn’t have given a plug nickel for our chances of reaching that threshold, but this community really came through and supported our girl Pippi yet again.

So what’s next? It will take about one business week (hopefully less) for the most recent donations to clear and the transfers to complete. Once that’s all done, I’ll have the pleasure of sitting down and writing a nice fat four-digit check and presenting that puppy to Pippi herself at the earliest opportunity. It really is as simple as that.

We really can’t thank you all enough for your support. KC Derby Digest always strives to support the Kansas City roller derby community in any way we possibly can, and sometimes that takes us in directions we might not have anticipated this time two years ago when we launched this little project. All things being equal, we really wish we didn’t need to raise money for things like this, but you play the hand you’re dealt. Special thanks in particular to Coach Wyatt and the ladies of Dead Girl Derby not only for their donations, but for their help in promoting the fundraiser online. KC Derby Digest has quite a reach, both in terms of audience and social media connections, but it’s never been more clear that all of us are stronger than one of us.

We did this together. This is our victory. And as much as we appreciate your help and support, I have a feeling Pippi will be grateful beyond the telling of it. The difference you’ve made is staggering. And we’ve never been prouder to be a part of this amazing Kansas City roller derby community.

Support Pippi’s Pack

The great Pippi Strongblocking of the Shotgun Sheilas is well on her way to defeating breast cancer. The fight has gone well. We’ve spent so much time over the last several months getting nothing but good news — followed by no news, which is the same thing — that it would be easy to assume at this point that the fight is over. Unfortunately, it isn’t.

As of press time, we’re told that Pippi still has several rounds of post-op chemotherapy left to finish, and as physically taxing as that is, the financial burden is even scarier, in many ways. The Kansas City roller derby community has done an outstanding job of coming together and supporting Pippi during this incredibly trying time, and now, KC Derby Digest is asking for your help in finishing this fight for good and all.

Effective this morning, and throughout the month of October, we are renewing our declaration of war against breast cancer by asking for your donations to help Pippi face down the enormous expense involved with her treatment and eventual recovery. We’ve set up a fundraising campaign through GoFundMe, and we’re hoping to raise $2,000 in the next 30 days or so.

Click to see the GoFundMe donation page for Pippi’s Pack.

So don’t be shy. Anything and everything helps. You can attach your name to your donation, or you can donate anonymously. GoFundMe doesn’t have us under a deadline, so if you choose, you can donate a little now and a little later. You’ve certainly got options. The sooner we reach our goal, though, the sooner we can provide a bit of relief for someone who has made such an amazing difference in our lives and given so much to the roller derby community in Kansas City.

Breast cancer should’ve known better. You don’t mess with Kansas City roller derby and skate away unscathed, and that goes double for someone like Pippi Strongblocking. By the time this fight is over, breast cancer will be scared of us, not the other way around.

So thank you. Thank you for your generosity and for the good that you do. You really have no idea the difference you can make in someone’s life. If Pippi hasn’t taught us anything else, she’s certainly taught us that.

Dr. Awesomesauce

KC Derby Digest welcomes guest writer Anya Neezenbeg of Dead Girl Derby‘s Pink Ladies, the Lovely Lethals. Anya was a good friend and longtime associate of Joe Schulz, a.k.a. Dr. Awesomesauce, referee for Dead Girl Derby that the derby community lost to tragedy this past weekend.

All photos provided to KC Derby Digest by Anya Neezenbeg; photo credit indicated where necessary.

Photo by Dan Thomas.

There are so many things to say about Joe Schulz, Dr. Awesomesauce and Deerhead Joe. My heart hurts every time I think of him now. The first day I met him before he began playing derby, before DGD was even DGD, he was just a hard core punk rocker. He was scary to look at with his piercings and Mohawk, but on the inside, his heart was full of the sincerest love.

Joe was a one of a kind. I have never met anybody that could make me so angry and so happy all at the same time. We would fight like brother and sister, but there was still always a huge respect for one another. I respected his work ethic and his loyalty. We met before DGD was the DGD it is today, when there was a handful of girls and even fewer refs. We would butt heads on so many things because both of us had such strong opinions; it got worse when we started to work together full time [at Cronin’s]. No matter how much we fought, at the end of the day, we would find a balance. If we weren’t fighting, we would always tell each other that we loved each other. He was willing to do anything for anybody. He had the biggest heart and loved so hard.

He was also one of these smartest individuals I have ever known. When he stopped skating, it was extremely sad for him. He truly loved this sport. He loved how it empowered women and gave them such a strong voice. He very much wanted to come back to derby, but he had demons that got in the way of that.

Above all, Joe would never utter a bad word about anybody. He always said such positive things about everybody — even me, even when we were on bad terms. It saddens my heart that the girls this season weren’t able to experience Joe’s kindness and helpfulness at practices. I wish everybody could have known him like the vets knew him.

Like brother and sister, we had two families: we had our Cronies family and our derby family. Both sides of our families thought the world of Joe and loved him more than he will ever know.

His daughter, his blood family, and his two step-families are in a world of despair from his loss. I hope he is at peace and knows how truly missed he is.

I will never forget you, Joe. I love you.

— Anya Neezenbeg, Dead Girl Derby

Photo by Brandi Wilson.