Hamburg Fire Company hosts co-ed roller derby

Keystone State Rollin' Renegades, Boomtown Renegade Roughnecks, and Psycho 78 members pose for pictures after the game.

Hamburg Union Fire Company #1 hosted the Keystone State Rollin’ Renegades and the Boomtown Renegade Roughnecks on Saint Patrick’s Day at the Hamburg Field House for the first local roller derby in years. The proceeds went to the fire company and Sunrays Pit Bull Rescue.

“Not only does the fire company need to raise money, but we also try to be a good neighbor,” said Chief Troy Hatt on teaming up with the rescue.

This co-ed derby was the second advertised event, but the first was cancelled due to snow. Proceeds for the previous were to go to victims of Hurricane Sandy. The goal is to bring the event back once a month all year long.

“Years and years ago the roller derby took place here in Hamburg at least once a month, if not weekly, before it fell away. We kept searching to see if we could bring it back,” said Chief Hatt.

It was through the King Frost Parade that Chief Hatt and the fire company reached out to offer the Keystone State Rollin’ Renegades a place to practice and host games. Prior to the first attempted event, there was high interest which continued to this one as there were 100 tickets waiting for pick up at the front door.

“I used to come with my dad when I was little,” said one spectator. The crowd was a mixed, diverse group of all ages.

Chief Hatt explained the derby as a nice clean, family oriented event that is fun for the community and the fire company. Face painting was available for children as well as balloons. Throughout the night, children were able to use the autograph section of the program to get autographs from their favorite skaters. The crowd was quiet in the beginning, but by the end of the night was cheering for the hometown team and had obvious favorites on both sides.

Hamburg Area High School senior and The Bridge Church member, Mason Kohler, sang the National Anthem. This was her first time singing the National Anthem at an event. The Bridge Church has a close relationship with the Hamburg Fire Company and is supportive of its events.

Sunrays Pit Bull Rescue was present with a stand set up selling various t-shirts and dog accessories as well as collecting donations. Volunteer Tiffany Szankovics brought her dog, Rhino, who is a rescued pit bull to get him familiar with having many distractions in the hopes of him becoming a therapy dog and to help educate the public on the breed.

“This is the perfect opportunity to get the dogs out and educate the public,” said Szankovics. Throughout the night, the crowd visited the stand and had a chance to meet Rhino.

The Rollin’ Renegades beat the Renegade Roughnecks with a score of 191 to 142. Officiating the game were members of Psycho 78. Musical entertainment was provided by Ovlo and Unstable Ground.

The April roller derby is postponed until May. Next, the Rollin’ Renegades will host the Man’s Ruin Roller Derby on May 11.