Katherine Lupo

Supporting: Madison Roller Derby Venue Fund for Mad Rollin' Dolls, Inc.

My Team: Vaudeville Vixens


Campaign has ended.


I started playing roller derby in early 2015 and it's hard for me to fathom how much better my life is now.

I started out a shy girl, afraid to take up space or tell other what I think. I constantly compared myself to others, wondering if I could ever be as cool, smart, or successful as the people around me. I was uncoordinated, unfit, and knew I'd never have flat abs, so why even bother?

I joined Wreckers thinking that, hey, maybe I could learn to skate a little better and, heck, maybe even one day do a crossover. I had no idea that in my first practice would hear two quotes that I've repeated over and over to myself:

"Comparison is the thief of joy."

"Don't practice until you can do it, practice until you can't do it wrong."

My life was changed. Since that time, a lot has happened to me, good and bad. I spent a year and a half on Wreckers, got drafted to the Vaudeville Vixens, tore my ACL in my first season, came back in my second, and now I'm starting my third as a co-captain of this wonderful group of pink-clad foxes. More importantly, I've learned that I deserve the space that I take up, abs are mostly related to what you eat, not necessarily how fit you are, and that some people think I'm the cool, successful one (I do have quibbles with this concept, though). At work, I've taken leadership positions, I've acted as a mentor for others, and I've learned that I am capable of success. In fact, I recently earned a Ph.D., a feat that I didn't truly believe I could achieve 4 years ago.

So, is roller derby important? Heck yes. It's more than the rolly hitty sport you hear me talking about all the time. It's a community that has given me a voice, taught me my strength, and given me a confidence that I didn't know was possible. I am forever grateful for roller derby, Madison Roller Derby in particular, for giving me this gift.

I've already been given the gift of roller derby, but who knows how many people are waiting for it and don't even know it. We urgently need a new venue so that we are able to keep skating, but more importantly, we need a new venue so that we can pass it on.

If you are able, please spare a few dollars to our new venue- $1, $5, $100, it all helps. 

Thank you for reading. 

Photo by Douglas Otto/Papa Razzi.

Thanks to all of your support, we have built a lasting legacy of roller derby in Madison.  Over the past 18 years, we moved from rope lights at Fast Forward Skate Center to hosting (and skating in!) WFTDA playoffs at Alliant Energy Center's Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  Unfortunately, our growth has stopped short  due to constraints on space and accessibility, and our current practice space is slated for demolition and redevelopment within the next 6 months.  We need your help to raise enough money to keep skating in a new space in Madison. 

With our own facility, we can bring our fans more roller derby games and events, relaunch a Junior training program, and support more local organizations. Most importantly, we can keep skating in Madison!  Win-win-win for everyone. 

Our success over the past 18 years has been based in grassroots growth -- and we will maintain this grassroots philosophy even in our fundraising.  To move forward, we need a minimum of $600,000 to secure commercial funding and secure a facility for the foreseeable future.  Additional needs include $150,000 to secure comfortable seating for our fans to watch our games.


We believe we can accomplish this through a combination of traditional single donations plus a sustaining donor system.  

  • If you can't give $100 to help us out today, can you sign up for $10/month, auto-deducted from your bank or a card?
  • If you can't donate $500, can you pledge $50/month instead?
  • If your business can't contribute $2,000 today, perhaps you can sign on for $200 per month instead

    Sustainable giving is a great way to help more, even if you can't give big donations right now, and we are a non-profit, so every dollar is fully tax deductible!  

No amount is too small (or too large!).  The key to our success will be a grassroots aggregate of regular, sustained giving as we finalize the plans and find a location.  Each donation is a rock of gravel that builds the foundation for a facility. 


Once we have secured a venue and it is self sustaining through events and ticket sales, your donations will then support a comprehensive, competitive Junior program, followed by a scholarship program.  Over time, additional donations will be directed toward improving our fan experience with things like better lighting and sound, and more events and activities.

With that, I would like to ask you to please sign on now to donate any amount you are able. Please invite your friends and family to do the same, and share our news as far and wide as you can.  We want everyone to feel empowered to support us, so feel free to choose a preset amount or enter $1 or whatever you can give in the box on the donate screen.  Every bit helps.

Thank you for your endless support and love!

Wendy Wilbur AKA. Allie Gator
Executive Director
Madison Roller Derby

About Us: 
As a local 501(c)(3) organization,  Madison’s premier roller derby league, and one of the founding leagues of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Assosication (WFTDA), MRD has paved the way for hundreds of other leagues across the country and around the globe. We’ve grown from four home teams to include two travel teams (Dairyland Dolls all-stars and Team Unicorn ). We hosted the 2016 WFTDA Playoffs, created a recreational roller derby team (Wreckers Madison Roller Derby), and all while maintaining our dedication to our community through countless hours of outreach with over a hundred local organizations.  


It is the mission of Mad Rollin’ Dolls, Inc. to provide a safe, inclusionary space to foster the development of a competitive women’s flat track roller derby athletic program, build leadership skills through volunteer opportunities, and make a positive impact in our community by serving as role models for our peers and future generations.

For more information on our capital campaign, please visit: 


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