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Roller girls rock the Palace

What kind of auction begins with a burlesque show and ends with a screening of the classic 1975 flick, "Rollerball?"

A derby girl auction, of course. Held Friday Oct. 10 at the Palace Theatre in Eastwood, six members of the Assault City Roller Derby (ACRD) team and two male referees were on the auction block for dinner and a date with the highest bidder. The event raised funds, not for the team, but for Charity for Children. ACRD President Joanna 'Princess Impaler' Bolos said of the numerous fundraisers the team has organized, all but one has been to benefit the local charity -- the other was for injured Chicago derby girl, Tequila Mockingbird.

The night began with a short burlesque "teaser" show by Madam Trixie and Her Dolls, a group only three months old.

The act was modified for the audience and "very, very tame," Trixie said.

Then master of ceremonies 'Deaf Geoff' Herbert announced, "It's officially time to auction off some human beings."

Though the auction did not draw the 70 people Bolos said were needed to break even, the bids were significantly higher than expected -- starting at $30, some couples inspired bids of more than $150. Each auctioned couple came with a different date, including dinner at a local restaurant.

The team

Of the 30 women who can count themselves at ACRD girls, only 15 are veterans -- the others are "fresh meat," and have yet to experience their first bout.

Bloody Tulips, known outside the roller derby world as Morgan Jenkins, is one such newcomer to the sport. Already athletic, the 24-year-old said she heard about the sport and decided to "just go for it." She chose her derby name because it sounded brutal, "and I liked that," she added.

Women interested in trying out for the team are encouraged to come to a practice, said Bolos. More often than not, after watching the first practice, people are hooked. Before participating in their first bout each skater is required to pass a skill assessment test.

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