Members of CNY Roller Derby and The Quadfathers woke up this morning to a haze of smoke filling the air in most of the city of Utica. We were informed around 6am that our practice facility, The SportsPlx, had burned down overnight. Here is a link to some of the news coverage. We are scrambling to wrap our heads around this disaster, but we wanted to get word out to our fans and friends that, most importantly, no one was inside the building when this happened and no injuries have been reported as a result. As always, a big thank you to the brave folks at the Utica Fire Department and Utica Police Department, many of whom have been league supporters, on making sure that this tragedy did not spread to neighboring buildings or injure any onlookers.
Our hearts are broken. We have been lusting after the SportsPlx as a practice venue since our founding in 2007, and just recently our dream came true and we were finally allowed to call it home after a long an stressful search for adequate winter practice space. Central location, pre-installed sports floor, and plenty of room. It was a dream come true and we had sincerely hoped to start the process of grant writing in order to purchase the property ourselves.
Here's a before shot from the floor:
And here are some 'after' shots taken minutes ago:
Unfortunately, there was great loss in terms of property. The league(s) kept most of our belongings there for easy access at practice. We did not yet have insurance on these items. As we attempt to get together a comprehensive inventory, some of the big stuff included loaner skates and gear sets for 20+ people, the customized DerbySkinz helmet panties for nearly all of our teams, an EMT bag with a full supply of medical items, our custom made Scoretronics jam clock, all of our bout production supplies, our league's vinyl banners, most of our non-bout event supplies, at least one skater's entire gear kit, and we're sure there's more we're not thinking of yet. Thankfully our SkateCourt floor was not on-site.
Our first priority is finding practice space. We are asking anyone in/around Utica that knows of a space available which is at least 100'X63' open span to contact us right away at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-313-4269 We have a specifications sheet we can send you to see if what we do will work in your space. The most immediate need is from now until early April when we can go back to our summer space in Rome, NY. But if we find somewhere which suits us a year round lease is always an option.
Offers are already coming in from our sister leagues for our skaters to share practices with them as we figure this out, and we appreciate it greatly. Please keep them coming if your league is within reasonable driving distance and will have us as guests, or if we could rent some time at the facility you use.
Our second (although no less important) priority is to fund raise and recoup what we can from this tragedy. Donations of money, gear, anything, will go a long way.
You can use this donation button to donate directly via Paypal, or send manually to email@example.com
We will be undoubtedly organizing some fundraisers in the coming months, but we have one coming up on Feb 18th which we would very much appreciate your support for:
If you would like to reach us by mail, please address to:
CNY Roller Derby
PO Box 8827
Utica NY 13505
Again, thank you for your support in this difficult time. The outpouring before we could even announce anything has been astounding and heartwarming.