Teen helps organize Tampa bowling event for veterans

By Amy Mariani, Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, October 10, 2015, 11:02 PM EDT

More than 30 people competed in a bowling tournament Saturday that raised money for veterans.

The Strike of Vets Charity Bowling Tournament raised money for the Stay in Step Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center. The money will help the center provide rehab for those who can’t afford it.

The charity tournament was the brainchild of Daniel Bolan. The 17-year-old high school student wanted to help his friend Romy Camargo.

Romy is a 20-year Army veteran who became paralyzed in 2008 after a bullet hit him in the back of the neck. He started the spinal cord injury center to help veterans like himself, and anyone recovering from a spinal cord injury.

Daniel wanted to help fund the center and loves to bowl. He combined the two for the tournament and hoped to raise more than $5,000.

“I got to sit down with Romy and his wife, Gabby and we both talked about what we can do to help their organization,” Daniel said.

This is Daniel’s way of saying thank you to all the vets who made sacrifices during their service.

“I believe that helping our wounded veterans is what we should do to give back,” he said. “They paid the price for our freedom, so it’s like us giving back to them.”

Romy said he’s touched that the young man has such mature ambitions.

“I’m just happy that people want to help,” Romy said.

Romy competed in the tournament. He used a specialized ramp called the IKAN Bowler that attached to his power chair. Before his injury, Romy had never bowled.

Now, his injury doesn’t keep him from trying new things.

“It gives the opportunity for quadriplegics and people in wheelchairs to have the chance to go out there and bowl,” he said.