Bowlers strike it big at Combat Vets Nine-Pin No Tap bowling fundraiser

A bowler displays classic form while his teammate watches at the Combat Vets Motorcycle Association fundraiser at Big Dog’s Lanes.

WHEATLAND — Big Dog’s Lanes was overtaken Saturday by the Combat Vets Motorcycle Association (CVMA) and a colorful crowd of bowlers for the first ever Combat Vets bowling tournament fundraiser. “This tournament came about due to a great idea and a couple of key conversations; thus the tournament was born,” said Kelly Mixson, CVMA member. The tournament was 9-pin No Tap with a $30 entry fee.  If you’re not familiar with 9-pin, the simple explanation is that knocking down nine pins on the first throw counts as a strike, and further chances to knock down the solitary pin is not necessary; a variation of traditional bowling scoring that is commonly used during tournaments to attract players of all skill levels.  

All proceeds benefit local veterans and money was raised through tournament fees, a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, and a raffled Savage Axis 223 rifle with scope from Teel Gun Works.  

Bowling teams consisted of two players per team that could compete in three games. There were 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place payouts with winners as follows:  3rd place Jessy Killion and Darren Allbright $175, 2nd place Peggy Cearns-Sinner, and Shala Colson $250, 1st place Jeff and Jodi Swainson $450. According to Kelly Mixson, Taz Williams won the 50/50 Raffle, taking home $200. “The morning of the tournament, the CVMA members presented vets at Legacy Home with a beanie and zipper hoodies from their branch of service,” added Mixson, “we raised $5,653.00 for veterans programs through the bowling tournament.” 

One example of benefits the Combat Vets Motorcycle Association achieves through fundraisers is the $10,000 donation to the Food Insecurities Program presented to the Wyoming Veterans Commission on October 12, 2023 in Cheyenne. This amount is to be matched dollar-for-dollar from an additional grant provided by the Marna K. Kuehne Foundation, which totals a generous $20,000 endowment. The Marna K. Kuehne Foundation aids disabled Veterans from Northeastern Wyoming. Established in 1997, the foundation  supports the Campbell Company Memorial Hospital, Veterans Home of Wyoming, Veterans Medical Center, American Legion Post No. 7, Campbell Company American Legion No. 2, DAV (Disabled American Vets) in  Cheyenne, Rock Springs, and Sweetwater County, Sheridan County Community College, Sheridan Senior Center, Sheridan YMCA, Wyoming Retirement Center, and Wyoming Vets Commission. The Wyoming Veterans Commission serves veterans, their dependents, and their survivors in matters pertaining to veteran benefits and rights. 

Sponsoring the 9-pin Tournament were Big Dog’s Lanes, Teel Gun Works, The Tire Shop, Platte County Shooting Association, Heartbeat-C Salon and Day Spa, VFW Post 3855 Auxiliary, Damsel in Defense, Pollock Posh, The Dodds Family, Melissa Jenkins, and O’Reilly Auto Parts.

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