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'Angel' Donor's $1.8 Million Gift Saves Sacramento Roller Derby

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A wealthy donor who insists on remaining anonymous bought a $1.8 million warehouse to save Sacramento Roller Derby from becoming homeless.

sacramento roller derby new home
Sacramento Roller Derby's new home on Thornton Ave. is just north of Downtown Sacramento

The league lost its lease on a warehouse at 1501 North C St. in Sacramento's River District and discovered competition from commercial marijuana growers made it impossible to find an alternate site it could afford. When CBS13 reported on the fruitless search for a replacement facility last September, the outlook appeared grim.

"It's something we never thought was possible," said league executive director Amanda Dunham.

But then came the "angel" donor. He or she provided the cash to buy a 26,500-foot warehouse at 1701 Thornton Avenue, behind Blue Diamond Almond Growers– just two blocks from the warehouse that served as Sacramento Roller Derby's home for the past 10 years.

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Property records show the $1.775 million sale closed in November, although the league waited until Monday to formally announce the gift and a new fundraising drive to pay for interior improvements. Dunham says the new building is more than double the size of its leased warehouse and will offer locker rooms, expanded restrooms, offices and seating for 300 spectators.

Sacramento Roller Derby is joining the Big Day of Giving on May 7 to raise money for the design and construction. She hopes the league's new home will become a center of community events in addition to roller derby meets.

Dunham says the angel donor is so private only a couple of people in the organization know their identity.

"I think it's a really amazing thing to be able to help people and not be worried about putting their name on a building," Durham said.

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