Why WIN house?
Many of you may be wondering why OCRD has decided to partner with WIN house and donate proceeds from Lotus merchandise to them. In order to answer this, we should start with the background on the Lotus event.
Lotus was a skater that joined OCRD late 2013. Lotus was athletic and determined and always came to practice with a positive outlook. When we received word of her passing (allegedly due to a domestic violence situation), to say we were shocked would be a huge understatement. Really, there are no words to describe the devastation that rocked our league.
But true to roller-derby style, the community rallied. OCRD renamed their “Fresh Meat Frolic” event to the “Lotus Invitational” in honor of this magnificent woman. A silent auction was held at this event where all proceeds raised went to a fund set up by the family and a symbol was created that was printed on merchandise that was sold with those proceeds also going to the family fund. Further to this, the entire derby community stood behind Lotus and showed support. We received donations from as far away as Ontario. Eville roller derby hosted a silent auction in support of Lotus at a game they were hosting against Lotus’ team, the G.I. Janes. Silent auction donations came from far and wide. The outpouring of support was unexpected and incredibly inspiring.
Given that the events surrounding Lotus in 2014 were so successful, OCRD attempted to continue the momentum by hosting the second Lotus event in 2015. Unfortunately this had to be postponed until 2016.
Since the initial event in 2014, the fund for the family is no longer available to donate to. In fact the family expressed gratitude for all that was done, but requested that they not be involved any further in these events. We completely understand this position and respect this.
However, we still had merchandise that was printed with the intent of any proceeds being donated to charity. This is where WIN house comes in.
WIN house is an organization that provides “…emergency shelter and comprehensive support to women and children fleeing domestic abuse. The shelters specialize in culturally sensitive services and is the largest charitable, non-profit agency of its kind in the greater Edmonton region (1).” The organization has roots dating back to 1970 and offers a variety of support services to women in need. “The shelters operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (1).” When OCRD was looking to find a charity to support (since the option to donate to Lotus’ family was no longer available), WIN house seemed to be a no brainer. Not only are they an amazing organization that has helped thousands of women and children, their mandate aligns with the original destination the funds from Lotus were headed, so WIN house was the logical choice for us.
For more information about WIN house or to donate, please visit their website at www.winhouse.org.