Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Legapalooza shows support for Dallas Amputee Network
The owner of Milo's is an amputee of 30 years.
DALLAS For most bars, the Sunday following the Super Bowl reverts back to normal. Some even have business slow down with the lack of football on television. But at Milo Butterfingers, located on SMU Blvd., this Sunday Funday was an exception.
On February 10, hundreds of patrons gathered at Milo’s for Legapalooza XXIX, a charity event organized to benefit the Dallas Amputee Network. Legapalooza was founded a few years ago by the owner of Milo’s, Tommy Donahue. Donahue has been an amputee for over 30 years, having lost his right leg after he was struck by a car while trying to fill his car with gas. Since then, Donahue has embraced his prosthesis and has decided to have a positive outlook on life.
“People can choose to go two ways. You can choose to sit on your butt and feel sorry for yourself, or you can accept this and live your life as a fully functioning person,” said Donahue.
Nine years ago, Donahue was profiled by The Dallas Morning News. Following the article, he met with Ellen Fernandes and Sandy Siebert from the Dallas Amputee Network. When asked to be a part of their network, Donahue said he was hesitant at first.
“I said I didn’t need them. And they said, 'You may not need us, but we need you,'” said Donahue.
Donahue became a peer visitor, a person who visits amputees and their families in hospitals to show them you can still be fully functioning, regardless of a missing limb. In 2010, while discussing his amputation and the parties that were held every time he had a new leg, someone mentioned that it had been a while since his last “leg party.” From that point onwards, Legapalooza was born.
This is Legapalooza’s fourth year. In 2010, the event raised more than $3,000, which was donated to the Dallas Amputee Network. The next year, it raised more than $9,000.
Legapalooza is a day chock-full of live music, games, drinking, raffles, and auctions. Proceeds are all donated to the Dallas Amputee Network. However, Legapalooza is more than just fun. The event also works to bring awareness to the Dallas Amputee Network.
“It’s great to the Dallas Amputee Network out there and support them. It’s a great cause and it’s great to help people,” said Chris Spearman, who celebrated his second year at Legapalooza.
In just four years since its inception, many feel that the event is more popular than ever.
“There are a lot more people here this year, especially in the beginning,” said Rick Garza of Jet Poets, a cover band who has performed at Legapalooza the last two years.
In addition to live music and raffles, Dallas Mavericks tickets, coupons to popular restaurants, and signed hockey sticks were up for grabs in the silent auction. Some of the high selling items of the night were a framed Legapalooza poster, which sold for $400, and a bottle of Tuaca Liqueur for $700.
“This is what we're here for, this is what Legapalooza is all about,” said Dean McCurry, a local auctioneer for charity events.
In addition to the Milo’s regular food, there was a outdoor grill offering pulled pork sandwiches and other barbecue favorites. The outside area was gated off to add more seats for patrons.
“With all the events happening inside, we need to have that outdoor area to have a seating area for people,” said Donahue.
As the day went on, the bar filled with bar regulars and friends of Donahue and the staff. Everyone in the building seemed to know each other and everyone enjoyed the day by taking pictures, singing along, having a drink -- all for a good cause.
“I want people who come to this event to know that you can be fully functioning without a limb. This is who I am, I spend 360 days a year in shorts if I can. I don’t try to hide it,” said Donahue.
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