Keep the Derby Dolls Rolling in LA
This essentially means all LA Derby Dolls bouts are in danger of being cancelled, unless we are able to raise the funds to file the official Variance application with the city which is very costly and well outside our normal operating budget. The LA Derby Dolls is an all-volunteer run, co-operative organization. We host two bouts per month in order to cover our day to day operating costs. If we cannot obtain permits to hold our bouts, we will very quickly be in serious financial trouble.
WHO WE ARE
For over 13 years, the LA Derby Dolls has provided a space for women across Los Angeles to find social and emotional support among other women while competing together in a physically and mentally challenging sport. Modern roller derby is unique in that it is a fast-action contact sport led by women as opposed to so many other sports that present as a "women's alternative" to a male-dominated sport.
The pro-women attitude is galvanized by the Derby Dolls’ focus on issues of women’s empowerment, body positivity, and inclusivity. The result is a safe community where women support each other in their successes, encourage each other through their defeats, and receive the same in return - whether on or off the track. League-members who elect to join the cooperative become an owner with a vote and a voice in the management and direction of the organization to ensure that the Derby Dolls is reflective of the women who participate. It is common for women who have retired from the training and competition aspect of the organization to continue to volunteer with the organization because of the strong bonds that they have formed and because they continue to believe in the importance of the mission of the Derby Dolls.
Like the adult program, the Junior Derby Dolls program focuses on developing teamwork, relationship building, self-confidence, empowerment, athletic skills, and sportsmanship. Roller derby can be an alternative for children and teens who do not feel comfortable with, or inspired by, mainstream sports programs. In our juniors program, young women between the ages of seven and 17 participate in afterschool training programs and on weekends, and compete in full production games in front of family, friends, and fans.
As a component of our volunteerism, the LA Derby dolls participate in a lot of local events and causes. In 2016 we were part of the Great LA River Clean Up, LA Pride Festival and Parade, Homeboy Industries 5k and Toys for Tacos. We hosted our mayor and the LA Domestic Violence Task Force LAPD Appreciation Luncheon, and in addition welcomed survivors of domestic violence at our private Roll Up seminars to teach them roller derby basic skills. We’ve also attended many LA-32 Neighborhood Council events and gatherings. We have worked extensively with the Downs Syndrome Association of Los Angeles in mounting their yearly Twenty Wonder fundraising events.
In addition to these endeavors, LA Derby Dolls sponsor and host an annual community health fair. With support from a number of health and wellness organizations and practitioners, the Derby Dolls Annual Health Fair brings free vision and hearing screenings, dental exams, doctor consultations, STD screenings, and other health resources to members of the community who might not otherwise have access to health services. Over the past eight years the Derby Dolls Annual Health Fair has provided services to hundreds of members of the Los Angeles community.
When fans step through the giant roll-up doors of The Dollosseum, the LA Derby Dolls' training and event space in El Sereno, they're treated to women's banked track roller derby action, played at the highest level in the country. Behind the action, teams, and self-produced public events is an all-volunteer organization of over 200 people.
LA Derby Dolls programming is funded in large part by its twice-monthly public games. Because of the unique requirements of a banked track roller derby facility, acquiring and maintaining a suitable space is both difficult and expensive – particularly in Los Angeles. In 2015, we were forced to move from our home of eight years in the historic Filipinotown neighborhood of LA due to new development in the area. We are fortunate to have found a landlord and community that supports what we do in El Sereno, only a few miles from Downtown LA. Our new facility requires necessary improvements for us to be able to continue to offer our training and competition programs and to host public events (where we make the bulk of our operating budget). The Derby Dolls subscribe to a do-it-yourself ethos and we are ordinarily able to leverage the skills and expertise of our league-members. However, in order to ensure the long term stability of the league, these improvements require us to enlist outside experts beyond our own capacity and at costs outside of our current operating budget. As a nonprofit cooperative, the LA Derby Dolls rely on the patronage of the Los Angeles community in order to continue offering its programs.
WHAT WE NEED
The time has come where we must come in line with what the city requires of us to continue to not only host our public bouts, and protect our safe practice space, but to keep us present and able to continue our active presence and volunteerism in our community. Our first step is to raise the City Variance Filing Fee & Architectural Design Fee so that we can officially file for a Variance with the city. Since our January 7th bout is now officially cancelled, we also need to raise funds to cover our normal operating cost for the month of January. We need donations to make this possible. Our needs break down as follows, Phase 1 being needed immediately and Phase 2 required shortly after to ensure we can follow through with our obligations to our city and community. Until we complete Phase 1 we will be unable to host public bouts and they are our main source of revenue. This makes our needs pressing and acute, and likely to grow for every bout where we are not back on our feet and able to welcome the public in again.
$27,300 City Filing & Design Fee
$16,805 to cover January operating expenses while we work towards re-permitting
$75,000 Infrastructure construction/improvement (i.e., architecture and engineering, restroom expansion, construction of audience/production risers and other building work related to Building & Safety compliance).
PLEASE DONATE TO HELP KEEP US ROLLING
The LA Derby Dolls plans to become a 501c3 non-profit organization in 2017 and once we achieve that, any donations will be tax deductible. There are other roller derby leagues in the Los Angeles area that provide similar social and emotional support to adult and young women, and who are active in their communities. However, the Derby Dolls are distinct in that we train and compete on a banked track surface, different than the flat-track variant of roller derby played by other leagues. As the only local banked track league, the size and amenities available in our facility allow our programs to scale easily to accommodate hundreds more in participants. The Derby Dolls’ facility allows us to showcase our participants’ skills and efforts in full production events (an experience unique to the Derby Dolls) in front of an audience of up to one-thousand fans. The capacity to support our participants from training to exhibition and competition - all within our own facility - makes the Derby Dolls a unique organization in Los Angeles, even among other roller derby leagues. We need your help to ensure we can stay in our home in El Sereno and continue to be a positive force for our members and local community of El Sereno and Los Angeles.
Due to the incredible generosity of our donors, we recently hit our phase 1 goal and filed for a variance permit with the City of Los Angeles. This is a very big step in our ability to host public bouts in the future and we are very hopeful.
Phase 2 is in full swing as we still need to raise an additional $75,000 for infrastructure improvements and $16,805 per month to cover operating expenses until we are able to host public bouts.
We want to thank everyone who has taken time to donate and share our campaign. Please keep up the great work and help us continue to spread the word as we work towards our phase 2 goal!
The Los Angeles Derby Dolls are continuing to invest in our community. Last week, we hosted Councilmember Jose Huizar and residents of El Sereno for a very productive meeting to discuss safety in our neighborhood! We love what we do and we can't wait to have you all back in the building again soon.
In the meantime, you can cheer on the Ri-Ettes and Junior Ri-Ettes as they prepare to travel to Arizona in May for Battle on the Bank, the national championships of banked track roller derby.
Your Los Angeles Derby Dolls
@Todd Szuch - phase one is approx $44,000. We are getting closer but not quite there yet! We hope to be rolling again soon!
So now that phase one is made, are bouts going to start again?!?