Bowl-a-thon helps bring awareness of MD | NevadaAppeal.com

Bowl-a-thon helps bring awareness of MD

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer

Stagecoach resident Jeremiah Higley is organizing a bowl-a-thon to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. “That’s nice,” one might say. But not Higley.

He truly wants participants to have fun on April 7 at Carson Lanes.

Higley, 28, was diagnosed about eight years ago with Freidrich’s ataxia, one of about 70 forms of muscular dystrophy. He has become an advocate to raise awareness about the disease.

“You have to look at it as wildfire,” Higley said. “People need to get involved with this now. It has to be stopped.”

Higley said the only moral support he receives is from his parents Jim and Nonie. The top age for a person with Higley’s illness has been stretched to 30-31 years. Higley also has an enlarged heart.

“I may be one of the few who live to be an old man,” he said. “My parents keep pushing me to strive for a better life. I want to succeed in this bowl-a-thon. It’s something I love to do.”

Higley will have information about muscular dystrophy available to participants and spectators, but he has a bigger day planned for his third annual fundraiser.

“In order for this to work, I need participants,” he said. “And in trade, I give them all kinds of fun and great items to win.”

Higley has a pair or autographed boxing gloves from Sugar Ray Leonard; an autographed script from Jim Belushi and the entire cast of “According to Jim”; autographs from actor Denzel Washington and Clint Eastwood, former Oakland Raiders coach John Madden, golfers Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus; five autographed basketballs from the Harlem Globetrotters, and three autographed footballs from the 1976 Oakland Raiders Super Bowl team; and autographs from race car drivers Mario Andretti, Mike Skinner and Richard Petty.

“To get raffle tickets, you have to be a bowling participant,” Higley said. “You could also win golf from area courses, hotel passes from the Eldorado in Reno and other great things for a wide range of people.”

The best part about the bowl-a-thon, it’s a no-top. This means if you get snookered and one pin is left standing, it counts as a strike.

Higley said he used to be an active bowler and loved spending time playing with his parents in Lake Tahoe. Dad Jim once bowled an 824-series (out of possible 900 pins), as well as a perfect 300-game.

Higley’s goal is to raise $10,000. The same goal he set for the two prior bowl-a-thons, but fell short on each by $2,000.

“I’m trying real hard this year to make my goal,” he said.

“I’ve asked (pro bowlers) Parker Bohn III to attend, and Norm Duke. (Duke’s) a legend. He’s bowled more than 30 perfect games in his lifetime.”

Higley said he’d like the two to give an exhibition prior to the bowl-a-thon. He’s waiting for them to confirm their attendance.

“Frank Hawkins (former Raider and University of Nevada, Reno running back) might be here, too. I talked with him at the Eldorado. He let me wear his Super Bowl ring – it was very cool. He’s a nice guy.”

If you go

WHAT: Bowl-a-thon benefit and Silent Auction

WHEN: Noon, April 7 (teams sign in at 11 a.m.)

WHERE: Carson Lanes, 4600 Snyder Ave.

COST: $25 per person, includes food and refreshment, T-shirt, three games of bowling and two raffle tickets; teams of up to five people.

CALL: Kara Geiger, 333-6789, or Jeremiah Higley, 450-5082

ON THE NET: http://www.mda.org

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.




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