Former roller derby skater raises support for local shelters

September 7, 2018 | 4:05 am

Updated September 10, 2018 | 10:41 pm

Photos courtesy of Sam Ray

Many of us have walked through the doors of an animal shelter with the goal of adopting a pet, only to leave feeling broken hearted for the many animals that are left behind.

When Sam Ray visited a local shelter in June, her only intention was to visit with the animals. Ray said she and her husband had a full home and no plans to adopt, but she couldn’t shake the experience.

“It brought me to tears and I wanted to do something. A lot of people will share stuff on Facebook to get the word out, but rather than go on a rant, I thought, I can do something about it,” Ray said.

A former roller derby skater, Ray decided to lace up her skates, contact some of her former derby friends, and skate nearly one hundred miles in order to raise money for three different animal shelters.

On Friday, Sept. 7, Ray and three other skaters, Jamie Boyington (cross-fit), Stephanye Givens and Dot Ligett, plan to start their Skate for Animals’ Sake at the Owensboro Riverfront and continue to the Kentucky-Tennessee border. A trip that will last two days.

Ray plans on covering 10 miles every 1.5 hours and anticipates arriving around the Central City/ Greenville area between 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Friday night. The quartet plans to start again Saturday morning at 8 a.m., ending up at the Ky. – Tenn. border around 5 p.m.

When asked what she could possibly be thinking — attempting to skate on the road for two days, Ray said that her goal of raising $ 10,000 was big, so the way she fundraised had to be big as well.

“When you do something unique, you have a chance of it being bigger,” Ray said. So far Ray has raised $3,000 towards her goal.

Ray not only hopes to raise money for the Daviess, Perry, and Hancock County Animal Shelters, but also an awareness of how many animals are available for adoption, or just need volunteer time to be loved on.

The Daviess County Animal Shelter plans on using their share of the funds raised to complete big projects, like adding fencing, windows, and grass to pet walking areas.

As far as the precautions Ray and the other skaters plan to take, Ray said they will be wearing knee, elbow and wrist guards.

“I drove it yesterday and there are going to be a lot more hills than I anticipated. Going uphill is easy, going down is going to be awful. I anticipate injuries, to be honest,” Ray said. “I honestly will be happy if I only walk away with a couple blisters and a little bit of road rash.”

Ray’s husband, Steve, will be following the skating crew in order to ensure their safety on the road, along with videographer Chris Conley who will be streaming the event live. Local sheriff’s departments will also be on hand to assist where they can.

At this point, Ray’s biggest concern is the weather.

“I’ve done all the planning I can do…Hurricane Gordon is trying to rain us out,” Ray said. “If it’s raining, it’s not going to be safe to skate, especially on the streets. If we get rained out, we won’t cancel…only postpone. Next weekend looks promising.”

If you would like to donate to Skate for Animals’ Sake, you can donate online at or drop off donations to any Independence Bank location.

For more information on the event, including weather updates, and to watch the live feed, please visit their Facebook page at

September 7, 2018 | 4:05 am

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