LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Raiders may be one of the newest pro teams in town, but in two short years, they've managed to make Las Vegas home by raising money and volunteering in the valley.
The past two years have been really hard on our city. The pandemic turned the lights out on Las Vegas and crippled our economy. But that hasn't stopped the Raiders from giving back.
Sharing the same mission, the Raiders and Golden Knights recently competed in the 2nd annual Battle For Vegas charity softball game.
For the second time, the Raiders won the game but our city won the day with the event raising $175,000 for local charities.
Raiders Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller is on a mission to help young people in the Las Vegas valley avoid and overcome addiction to drugs and alcohol, struggles he himself once dealt with.
"You can probably look up my mugshots on Google. I've been arrested three times, been suspended a bunch of times, should've been kicked out of college, things like that. So, I feel like people can reach out and touch me and be like, 'OK, I've been through that. I know what that feels like,' but you can still do something positive. That's what I want to let them know and I feel like I can do this for the rest of my life," Waller said.
Waller said those comments at a recent event in which his foundation partnered with Landmark Recovery in Las Vegas to cover the cost for three recovering addicts to continue their journey toward sustained sobriety.
"It's not about being right all the time or being perfect. It's just about improving day after day after day and knowing that, 'I don't want to go back to where I was,'" Waller told the three beneficiaries.
Before that, Waller hosted a summer camp for 100 kids from local communities in need, simultaneously teaching them football fundamentals and important life lessons.
"These kids were handpicked by the city, coming from the historic Westside and North Vegas, neighborhoods like that. We've got blocking, tackling, three-point stance, catching, running, hand-offs. We're working on a little bit of everything out here, just getting kids a basic knowledge of the game. I just wanted to let them know that anything is possible. As long as you have the work ethic and a positive attitude and the confidence in yourself to match and you're just staying true to yourself doing what you love doing, there's nothing that can stand in the way from you accomplishing what you want to accomplish," Waller said.
The Raiders recently partnered with Credit One Bank to launch the "One For The Community" program, featuring the team's kicker Daniel Carlson. When Carlson converts an extra point this season, Credit One Bank will donate $2,000. At the end of the season, all the money raised will be split between the After School All-Stars and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada.