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Skate for a cause event rolls with a purpose to combat addiction

Mandy Martin and Melissa Blumenshine, have channeled the loss of a sister to drug addiction into a powerful movement of hope, joy and remembrance
Mandy Martin and Melissa Blumenshine

Two sisters, Mandy Martin and Melissa Blumenshine, have channeled the loss of a sister to drug addiction into a powerful movement of hope, joy and remembrance with an inaugural Megan's Moon Skate event Saturday, August 12.

The story of the two sisters is united not only by their love for skating and their late sister Megan, but also by their personal journeys towards sobriety with Martin who has three years of sobriety behind her, and Blumenshine, in her fifth year.

In addition to their heartfelt commitment to commemorating their sister Megan through the Megan's Moon Skate event, the Longmont sisters are on a mission to reintroduce a roller-skating rink to Longmont through their venture, Freewheel Limited

Their strategy involves hosting pop-up roller skating events which are more than just a prelude to a brick-and-mortar establishment, they represent a way to gauge community enthusiasm, generate revenue and further solidify the sisters' dream.

But this time around it’s more than just an event, Megan's Moon Skate is a cause with 15% of all admissions, coupled with all the generous donations received, being directed to Recovery Café Longmont which is steadfast in the fight against addiction.

The night of Megan's passing, they were engulfed in sorrow. Yet, as they left the house, they were greeted by a crescent moon in the sky. This sight became an enduring memory and a representation of Megan for them. On August 12th, the sky will showcase a crescent moon once again, suggesting that everything seemed to come together in a poignant way.

"August is poignant for us, it would have marked Megan's 44th birthday. This event is super special to us as we're able to honor her in such a unique way. We had planned on having a pop-up event anyhow,” Martin said. “Our motto has been 'skating brings the best high'… and through these events, we aim to show the world the joy of skating, emphasizing that you don't need substances to get through life."

The sisters wish for their initiative to be continuous, as it holds a significant role in their lives. Maintaining sobriety is an everyday challenge for them. Their primary goal is to assist others in achieving and sustaining sobriety. Overcoming their own struggles has paved the way for a significant journey together, which they acknowledge wouldn't have been possible if they were still battling addiction.

"It's vital for everyone to realize that beneath the clutches of addiction, the person we once knew and loved still exists. They're waiting for a guiding hand to bring them back into the light," Blumenshine said.

The sisters also expressed their deep commitment to roller skating, emphasizing it is more than a mere hobby. They have a clear vision to bring a roller-skating rink back to Longmont. Their journey began in March 2022, and this year they initiated their pop-up events. Currently, they are in the second phase of a four-phase plan, aiming for a permanent brick-and-mortar establishment.

“The joy roller skating exudes is undeniable. It has this magical ability to stimulate happiness in the brain through bilateral stimulation. It provides a platform for people to connect, have fun and create cherished memories," Blumenshine said.

The sisters fondly remembered their times at the Roll-O-Rena with Megan. The Roll-O-Rena has a special significance for them, and when they encounter others who have visited the place, they often sense the sisters' passion for reviving it.

"I was older than Megan, and like many elder siblings, I initially resisted having my younger sister tag along. But Megan was always there, mostly because our mother insisted,” Martin said. "Those moments, with Megan persistently tailing me, are now some of my most cherished memories. In hindsight, I'm profoundly grateful for those shared experiences. While Megan isn't physically with us anymore, her spirit and memories are ever-present."

Reflecting on their time together, Blumenshine said, "Every time Megan and I were together, something hilariously unexpected would happen. We would end up laughing uncontrollably. Those moments, those genuine bouts of laughter, are what I remember most vividly about Megan."

Through roller skates, laughter, and heartwarming memories, the two Longmont sisters hope Megan's presence is felt profoundly. The Megan's Moon Skate event is not just a celebration of roller skating but a tribute to a sister's memory, emphasizing the importance of cherishing every moment and holding loved ones close.