PLATTSBURGH - In just five short months, the North Country Lumber Jills went from an idea, to a full-fledged roller derby team. But to continue rolling on the right path, they need help from the community.
Kimberly Cummins, president and founder of the Lumber Jills, said currently the team is made up of about 15 women.
"It's amazing," Cummins said. "The amount of girls that are interested and how dedicated everyone has been ... in just this short amount of time has maintained that same intensity as when we started."
However, the current practice space is not ideal for the skating sport. The team practices at the parking lot behind the Amtrak train station, which has not been easy.
"The only thing that's difficult about that area is that we can't do anything that would possibly cause injury," Cummins explained. "Which is a lot of the pack stuff, which is what we need to learn."
When the girls do fall during practice, it's definitely not a smooth landing.
"If you [fall] it's like a cheese grater," said Cummins. "It's just asphalt."
Finally the team has found a new location for practices and eventually bouts, but it won't come cheaply.
"Right now we just acquired access to the city gym," Cummins explained. "But, it's $45 an hour to use the whole gym, and we were anticipating using it twice a week for two hours a pop."
According to their Web site, www.plattsburghrollerderby.com, the current cost for dues is $50 a person, per month.
"That's kind of high, especially because we have some people who are financially just getting by how it is," she said. "The equipment alone has been a lot."
In order to ease the financial burden, the team will host Monopole Madness, this Saturday, Sept. 4, from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Monopole, 7 Protection Ave.
"It's going to be a really fun night," Cummins said. "There's going to be a lot to do. It's not like your normal night at the bar."
Throughout the evening various bands will take the stage - Secret Secret Dino Club, a pop group from Saratoga; Bike to the Future, a punk band from Plattsburgh; Forever Endeavor, a two-piece rock band, also from Plattsburgh; More Faster, a ska band from Middleton; and Plattsburgh's party funk band Eat.Sleep.Funk. will continue throughout the rest of the evening.
"It's really a nice mix," said Cummins. "There's just a variety of music, which really isn't available at the bar scene."
The event will also feature Sharpie tattoos by Lumber Jills member Liz Allen, Dollar-a-Minute massages, and a photobooth.
We ask for a donation on the Sharpie tattoos because it takes her awhile to do them and it's all personalized," Cummins said.
Admission to the evening is also by donation, with $3 to $5 suggested.
"We're hoping to get more events in the future to keep the dues low and kind of make sure that we're reaching our goals ... and improving our sustainability," said Cummins. "Then, we can actually bout and the people who support this kind of stuff can actually see where their money is going."
The team is already preparing for their next event, Fresh Meat and Greet, which will be held at the North Country Food Co-op, Friday, Sept. 17, from 5:30-7 p.m. The goal is for people to come for a Q & A session. The team is also looking for more potential team members, referees, and other volunteers. Most of all, they are in need of a coach.
"We have a coach of sorts right now," said Cummins, referring to teammate Marissa Buergin. "But it would be nice to have someone outside of the team coach us. She's a player and acting as a coach ... but it kind of cuts away from her being able to practice."
Cummins said all they are looking for in a coach is a decent skater and an idea of how the game is played.
"If you have a good ability to push someone and to make them try their hardest," she said. "Or you know how the game is played and could relay that information correctly in a manner everyone can digest."
For more information about the North Country Lumber Jills, visit their Web site, find them on Facebook, or e-mail email@example.com.