… we have a small favor to ask. Thousands of people have placed their trust in the Racine County Eye’s high-impact journalism because we focus on solutions-based journalism.

With no shareholders or billionaire owners, we can provide trustworthy journalism that focuses on helping readers.

Unlike many others, Racine County Eye’s journalism is available for everyone to read, regardless of what they can afford to pay. We do this because we believe in information equality. Greater numbers of people can keep track of events, understand their impact on people and communities, and become inspired to take meaningful action.

If there were ever a time to join us, it is now. Every contribution, however big or small, powers our journalism and sustains our future. Support the Racine County Eye from as little as $5 – it only takes a minute. Thank you.


Your contribution is appreciated.

The sound of hard rubber rolling on wood hangs in the air on a cold Thursday night at Memorial Hall as 26 women practice drills with the Root River Rollers, a women’s flat track roller derby team based in Racine.

The women duck walk and practice falling, whip each other forward, and huddle close together in a line as Kelli Gartner, president of the organization, calls out the next drill. Her alter ego name is Icy Red and she’s one of the founding members of the group. She helped start the group in October 2012 because she knew there weren’t many outlets for women who wanted to do sports in town.

The women who join the Root River Rollers come from all walks of life — nurses, mothers, bartenders, hairdressers, active duty military, teachers, call center workers, and painters. They often want to meet new people, but also want the exercise and get their aggression out in a positive way. Still, the Root River Rollers vision includes empowering women, not tearing one another down.

“There’s a place for everyone,” Gartner says. “But what it’s not about is fighting. This is not the old bank track style roller derby. These women bought all the equipment for this… they have paid to be here and we’re a charitable organization.”

Kim Marks joined the team two weeks ago. And at age 50, her motivation for joining was to prove something to herself. She had always enjoyed roller skating and wanted to do something fun.

“It’s great exercise and I felt like it was something I could do since I have been on wheels my whole life,” Marks said.

For Heather Jones, being part of a team has been gratifying. She likes the speed, the strategy around the competition and that there’s always an offensive and defensive move that you have to be doing at the same time.

“It’s been fun,” she said. “These ladies have been awesome… everyone here is so supportive.”

Gartner says watching women who could hardly stand up on skates become able to compete is a rewarding experience, but it’s also gratifying to watch them have healthy relationships with other women.

“A lot of times people come to us after they’ve just gotten a divorce or had a bad break-up. And it’s hard for them to have healthy relationships,” Gartner said. “But here, women aren’t caddy. They literally come from all walks of life and they get to meet new people.”

The team held a bout in April.  They plan to do more once their newer members get their skills up to speed since the sport is so physical.

The group also wants to do more events to raise money for charities. They’ve held fundraisers for the Women’s Resource Center hosting a fund-raiser for the Women’s and Children’s Horizons in Kenosha from 7 to 11 p.m. Feb. 21 at MCAuliff’s Pub South, 3700 Meachem Road.



Advertising disclosure
To support our site and content, we work with partners to present valuable offers to help you save, earn, and get ahead. We may be compensated for the purchase of goods and services made through the links in this offer program.
Offers for you
Curated offers for our readers
advertiser disclosure
Coding for kids! Introducing programming games for the next generation. Get your kids coding today.
Start with a free trial.
Start with a free trial.

Get your students coding in no time!

CodeMonkey is a fun and educational game-based environment where kids learn to code without any prior experience. After completing CodeMonkey's award-winning coding courses, kids will be able to navigate through the programming world with a sense of confidence and accomplishment.

Kids will love learning to code with CodeMonkey

  • Ready to Go Courses. With CodeMonkey’s teacher kit and support team, anyone can teach the basics of computer science.
  • Real Coding Languages. CodeMonkey's courses teach text-based coding so students learn to program like a real developer.
  • Game-Based Learning. Kids learn coding in an engaging and rewarding environment that utilizes gaming elements.

Free Trial - Enjoy a full-blown gaming experience that will teach your kids to code!

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.