inMotion Magazine

May | June 2018 38 by Bruce Vincent Dallas’ LEGAPALOOZA Is Improving Amputees’ Lives Hundreds of amputees, supporters and partygoers will soon be kicking off another long Texas summer at the annual Legapalooza fundraiser benefitting the amputee community. Since 2010, this one-of-a-kind event has raised nearly $200,000 to help fund the many beneficial programs provided by the nonprofit Dallas Amputee Network (DAN) , the country’s largest and most active amputee support group. This year’s Legapalooza is set for June 3 at Milo Butterfingers Bar & Grill in Dallas. “When we started this up several years ago, none of us realized how big it would become,” says Legapalooza founder Tommy Donahue, who lost his right leg after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in 1981. Reluctant Start Brings Support Tommy joined DAN in 2004 following an invitation from the group’s then-director and fellow amputee Ellen Fernandes. Tommy initially told Ellen he did not need a support group. But when she explained that DAN needed him as much as he needed them, he realized DAN represented his chance to make a difference in the lives of other amputees. “One of the first things I did as a DAN member was to become a certified peer visitor, which is one of the many great programs supported by Legapalooza,” Tommy says. Under the program, DAN provides a 24-hour hotline to organize visits from Amputee Coalition-certified Health & Well-Being Photo courtesy of David Boomstein