Roller Skates And The Blue Star Mothers


Saturday, April 7th 2007, 4:50 pm
By: News On 6


They send care packages to troops on the front lines every month, now the Blue Star Mothers have a new partner in Broken Arrow. The News On 6’s Joshua Brakhage reports it comes at a time when donations are more important than ever.

With the neon pink, purple and yellow a roller rink seems like a strange place to remember the red, white, and blue. But at Broken Arrow Roller Sports, a member of the family is deployed overseas.

"Rhonda, who is one of our assistant managers, has a son over in Iraq and wanted to do something for her and her boy," said rink owner Darrin Johnson.

Darrin Johnson says Eric's service inspired them to partner with Broken Arrow's Blue Star Mothers. On Saturday they filled the lobby collecting donations and supplies for Freedom Boxes, but they say their most critical need is cash. The smallest box the moms send to the men and women fighting overseas costs $8 in postage, and that price jumps to over $9 next month.

"If we don't have that, we can't send the items over," said Blue Star Mother Lisa Bender.

Lisa Bender's son is an Oklahoma National Guardsman on alert, who could be deployed to Iraq at anytime.

The partnership with the patriotic parents is also part of the roller rink's commitment to rebuilding the business's image. The last owner was hauled away in handcuffs, and has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.

"New owner, and some new ideas and I look forward to the next several years, building a relationship with the Broken Arrow community," Johnson said.

It's easy for kids to wear camouflage text on their shirts, and play with guns in a skating rink arcade, but it’s not easy for them to understand the sacrifices real soldiers make.

"They're like, 'Why is my daddy putting money in that bucket?' So we told them why they were doing it, and they were like, 'Oh, okay!' They thought it was great," Bender said.

If you would like to donate to the Broken Arrow Blue Star Mothers you can contact them through their website, www.babluestar.org.