Denise Flanagan’s passion for the Wounded Warrior Project stems in part from her 27-year stint in the Air Force and time spent in the medical field. She is also a Wednesday night league bowler.
Bowling for Heroes combines her passions into a Feb. 9 fundraiser for WWP at the Pahrump Nugget Bowling Center.
“I try and hold an event every year,” Flanagan said. “This year’s event will feature a raffle consisting of many gift certificates from local restaurants, fitness centers, car service shops, florists, a tattoo parlor, Mountain Falls, restaurants and from Amazon, Visa and American Express. There also will be a gift certificate from Longstreet Hotel in Amargosa Valley for a free two-night stay and dinner for two at their Nebraska Steakhouse.”
Raffle tickets will cost $5 for six, as Flanagan noted that raffles traditionally are popular at events around Pahrump. “Eighty to 90 percent of the people don’t bowl,” she said. “They come for the raffle.”
Even so, almost 90 people already had signed up for Bowling for Heroes 10 days before the event.
The Wounded Warrior Project does far more than just help veterans with medical situations, she said, noting that the organization runs more than 30 programs that assist more than 1 million veterans and veterans’ families. “It blows my mind,” she said.
In addition, there will be a silent auction that will include some very valuable items. Tops on that list is a gift certificate from Front Sight Firearms Training Institute for a lifetime Diamond Membership valued at $15,000. Front Sight also has donated three gift certificates for firearms training, each valued at $1,000.
Other items in the silent auction include four tickets to the NASCAR South Point 400 in September at Las Vegas Motor Speedway valued at $400, and a Milwaukee Super Toolkit valued at $500.
“The items for the silent auction had me dumbfounded,” Flanagan admitted.
In addition, roughly 35 die-cast NASCAR cars, many signed by drivers, will be available for purchase.
Even just spreading the word about Bowling for Heroes gave Flanagan a special moment.
“The event is posted on Facebook, and I get on there once a week and urge people to share,” she said. “I got a (private message) from a wounded vet, and it made me cry. He said he was down and out and he read about my event and wished that he could donate something, but he just doesn’t have it.
“I told him who to contact, and he donated a dollar. That dollar was worth a million to me. It just meant so much. I tell people it doesn’t matter how much you donate, every dollar counts toward something.”
Wounded Warrior Project exists to assist wounded veterans to adjust to returning to civilian life. And their mission is as broad as that statement suggests. WWP gives a voice to the needs of wounded veterans and works to empower them to begin their journey to recovery.
More than 52,000 servicemen and women have been physically injured in recent military conflicts, according to WWP, with 500,000 living with invisible wounds, from depression to post-traumatic stress disorder, and 320,000 experiencing debilitating brain trauma.
The Wounded Warrior Project relies on donations, as it does not charge veterans for any of the services they offer.
“WWP was founded in 1994 and has been a passion of mine for 20 years,” Flanagan said. “I saw my share of wounded vets coming back from war zones.”
Anyone can register to participate in Bowling for Heroes at the Pahrump Nugget Bowling Center, and walk-ins will be accepted on the day of the event, which runs from 1-5 p.m. But Flanagan warns that there have been as many as 30 walk-ins before, and people will be turned away because of space limitations.
For more information about the event, contact Denise Flanagan at 775-209-0783 or the Nugget Bowl at 775-751-6525.