Just for Fun Roller Rink in McHenry gives back despite break-in, theft

Lisa Duncan will keep giving even when others take from her.

Duncan, owner of Just for Fun Roller Rink in McHenry, has pushed on with a monthlong coat and food drive despite a break-in to her business that resulted in the theft of boxes of food and clothes that were donated, DJ equipment and damage to change machines and games.

But instead of worrying about what she no longer has, Duncan is upping her efforts for the food and coat drive and is offering free admission Saturday to anyone who brings in a coat or can of food. The rink at 914 N. Front St. is open Saturday from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., 3 to 5 p.m. and 6:30 to 9 p.m.

“We’re running on our spare equipment. We took stuff from [our Mundelein location] to get going here and are just buying other replacements slowly,” Duncan said of the robbery. “But this has been such a big success. We want to make sure everyone who needs a coat can get one.”

While Duncan has hosted Toys for Tots events in the past, she said she was inspired to do more this year after attending a Woodstock school district meeting where there was a discussion about the need for coats for some students.

Duncan has teamed with her friends from Sunshine Taxi Company and the moderators of the Free Items In McHenry County Facebook group to put on the monthlong drive that has garnered roughly 300 coats, three bins of gloves and hats and “quite a bit” of food. Seeing how many people are truly in need has been a revelatory experience, Duncan said.

“It definitely humbles you because you don’t really realize how many people don’t have things we take for granted,” Duncan said. “Parents will come in for their kids, but they are freezing as well because they might not have a coat. It’s heartbreaking.”

Saturday’s opportunity for free admission is just a preview of the culminating event on Dec. 13, Duncan said. Admission will be free to all on that day and the coats and food that have been collected will be distributed to anyone who needs it. Every child will also receive a present.

“McHenry doesn’t have much for kids to do in general and we want the less fortunate kids to have a good time and get a present and take a coat and food if they need it,” Duncan said. “If you’re in need, we’re here to help.”

She said donations would continue to be collected through Dec. 6. Anyone who wants more information about Saturday’s event or the Dec. 13 event can call 815-790-1883.

Original Northwest Herald article here.