Celebration for Olympian David Wise helps raise funds for Empowerment Center


RENO, Nevada (KOLO) – Celebrating one of Reno’s most iconic figures.

On Saturday afternoon, David Wise of Reno, who just won his third Olympic medal in the men’s halfpipe, threw a party at Atlantis.

But something else was at play.

“We have an addiction problem here,” Wise said of his community. “We also have an affordable housing problem here. To me, these issues seemed like something we can partner with the Empowerment Center on and do something about. That’s what makes it so special.

100% of proceeds from the party will go to the staff of the Empowerment Center – an organization that helps women struggling with drug addiction.

“We come and provide all the help the person needs, then we help them reintegrate into the community,” explained Roxanne DeCarlo, the center’s executive director.

The Wise family are volunteers at the center. To help raise funds, David brought some of his gear from this year’s Olympics to Beijing.

“I just emptied my garage,” he laughed. “These are all things that take up space. Some of them are valuable. Some might not be so valuable. We’re getting rid of some cool stuff and giving people the opportunity to join me on my Olympic journey and buy priceless items.

One Empowerment Center project that will benefit from Saturday’s event is the Marvel Way Complex. The apartments will provide affordable housing for people with low incomes and provide a sober environment. Units are not transient. People can feel at home.

“That’s the key and the missing piece in our area is having supportive housing for people in early recovery,” DeCarlo said.

The goal is to raise at least $10,000 through the dinner and the auction.

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