That’s a great question so here ya go:
The Expendables Paintball Team came to exist due to what some would call a tragedy and others a gift. It really depends on one’s perspective over the situation. In July 2017, Andy’s (Co-founder) family suffered the loss of their daughter [Ally Raber] to a brutal murder by her ex-boyfriend that put them and close friends into a new realm of awareness plaguing kids and adults alike around the country. As parents, this kind of loss cannot be explained and we ask for hope daily that no other parent has to endure this type of pain. From those ashes the team was born, to begin a quest to honor the lost and save lives in their name.
Here we are today, a group of supportive friends that have come together to form a paintball team (being our sport of choice) and seek to drive awareness towards Domestic Violence Issues worldwide. We are comprised of former industry and professional tournament players; men and women, young and old. We are diverse in our backgrounds and life experiences which blend nicely into our team mission. The sport of paintball offers us a worldwide audience of these same people, everyday folks from all walks of life who enjoy the game as much as we do, and many can relate due to personal experiences.
Currently paintball is played in over 20 countries worldwide with millions of recreational participants (4 million estimated in US) and 6+ professional/amateur recognized leagues for tournament play. In the U.S, paintball equipment sales alone were over 157 million, continuing to increase from the decline seen in 2007 with the economy. The Expendables continue to expand the industry by being ambassadors of the sport and utilizing unique offers from our sponsors and our passion to aid in the sports growth.
Moving forward, The Expendables are using this player base in our efforts to honor Ally and continue her love of helping others, as was her reason for joining the Navy. To accomplish this, the team’s focus is directed at domestic violence awareness, mainly at the teen level where it all begins and bot excluding adults. We host charity games for various non-profit organizations, plan special player events, a live webcast TV show is coming soon and we’ve incorporated social media pages with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for awareness.
To add validity to our mission as we are no experts in this issue, we have partnered up with the Ashley Doolittle Foundation (https://ashleydoolittlefoundation.org) A non-profit here in Colorado created by parents of another teenage girl, Ashley Doolittle, murdered as a result of teen relationship issues. We all share a common bond of preserving the legacies of our fallen children and promoting awareness of the issue so that others may live and be successful. Not all domestic violence cases end in tragedy, it’s driving home the importance of knowing the clues that make a difference. This includes hosting free seminars for parents and teens to learn about the danger signs and provide resources to stay healthy and safe.
And of all things, The Expendable are simply paintball lovers to the core and embrace the values it brings. Exercise and being healthy are common requirement on the tournament level. All players worldwide enjoy the values of teamwork, critical decisions making skills and social skills are elevated due to the hands on environment of working with others to accomplish winning the game. Look for us at a field near you and say hello. In the meantime, browse the members bio’s on the site and jump in the forum to stay up to date.
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