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Jewel City Rollergirls host 100 kids for free skating

Dec. 20, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Skateland of Huntington was packed Thursday evening with more than 100 excited kids wanting to skate for free with the Jewel City Rollergirls.

It was the first time the Huntington-based women's rollerderby team hosted its "Give the Gift of Skate" event.

Rollergirl Cait "Artoo" Dalzell said the team came up with the idea so kids who might not be able to afford to go out skating all the time can have some Christmas fun.

"We love skating so it just seemed like a natural way to give back when we were thinking of something to do for people," she said. "When I was a kid, we wouldn't be able to afford to go to open skates so I had a feeling whenever we offered it people would show up. People seem to really like this as a fun activity to do that's kind of unique, and it's pretty cheap most of the time, but I know some people still can't make it all the time."

Jamie Kelly, of Hurricane, brought his 10-year-old daughter Rowan to the event so she could see if she liked skating.

"This is her first time ever on roller skates and my first time on roller skates in about 17 years," he said. "Rowan is very interested in junior derby and she wants to start skating with the derby girls."

"I like to be energetic and actually move," Rowan added, "not just sit in front of a tv and watch tv all the time. I want to have something to do."

In addition to skating, Rowan and the rest of the kids had the opportunity to win a few prizes, like free hair cuts from True Blue Salon and free skates from Skateland. All children who attended the event were gifted certificates to Studio 8 for free yoga classes.

Spiderman and Santa Claus were also on hand to get the kids into the Christmas spirit, posing for pictures and sharing milk and cookies.

The Jewel City Rollergirls, which consists of 20 team members ages 18 and older, formed about three years ago and recently completed their second season of competition in flat-track roller derby. For more information on the team, search for them on Facebook or visit jewelcityrollergirls.com.

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