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August 8, 2004

US Deaflympics hopeful in need of sponsors

From: Indianapolis Star, IN - Aug 8, 2004

August 8, 2004

Wearing the Deaflympics hat he earned while bowling for the United States at the 2001 Summer Games in Rome, David Reeves discussed his chances of receiving a second hat at the 2005 Summer Games in Melbourne, Australia.

The 43-year-old Indianapolis right-hander, who won three gold medals in Rome, has been invited by USA Deaf Sports Federation, Inc., to be a member of the six-man U.S. bowling team Jan. 5-16 at Melbourne, Australia, after qualifying in February at Chicago.

Unlike the U.S. Olympians who have their costs covered for the 2004 Summer Games, U.S. Deaflympians must pay their own way to Melbourne. Reeves can't afford the $4,800 cost of the trip and hasn't been able to secure any sponsors, as suggested by the Deaf Sports Federation.

The Pacers, for whom Reeves worked at the time in maintenance at Conseco Fieldhouse, held a bowl-a-thon at Woodland Bowl and raised around $7,000, enough to send Reeves and his brother to Rome. Reeves left the Pacers job, which he held for 10 years, in March.

"Dad was in a car accident at age 17 and sprained his knee real bad," said Reeves' daughter, Davina, who served as interpreter for her father during an interview. "The Pacers were good to him and he misses the job, but the strain of going up and down the steps at Conseco and lifting heavy equipment was too much on his knee."

Reeves has had no income for four months. His wife Linda works for the Marion County Health Department and Reeves will become eligible for disability income in October. He also has been given permission to look for a part-time job.

Because he has no income, Reeves did not enter the draft for the 2004-05 Masters Classic traveling league. He will sub, and compete in two leagues this fall at Hindel Bowl, where owner Jerry Hindel allows him to practice for free.

Reeves' daughter said her father has far more energy since he left his job with the Pacers, and his bowling has improved. He is averaging 215 in a doubles league at Expo Bowl this summer.

"Dad is excited to be with a new team for the Deaflympics in Australia," said Davina. "Four of the members haven't been to the summer games, but dad has been and he's looking forward to bringing more gold home if he can get sponsors.

"He's praying to go so he can represent the U.S. again. He's trying his hardest. Dad thinks he has a 50-50 chance to make it to Australia."

Anyone interested in being a Reeves sponsor can call Davina at (317) 357-5072.

Dick Denny can be reached at .

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