The family and friends of Gonzalo Peralta, a local resident currently battling the novel coronavirus, bowled the day away in an effort to raise money for the family Saturday.

Peralta, who has been hospitalized since May 3, is currently making a slow recovery at Stormont Vail in Topeka. Chrysanne Peralta has just recently been able to visit with her husband and regularly travels to Topeka. The money raised helps fund that travel, as well as daily life expenses, made all the more difficult since Chrysanne has been furloughed and Peralta has been sick.

Peralta’s niece Emily Lauxman said it has been difficult to watch her family directly go through this and keeps praying for Peralta’s recovery.

“My aunt’s been … keeping us updated, and it’s really sad to see her go through this issue,” she said, adding that only recently has Chrysanne been able to hug her husband with special limitations.

Chrysanne and her son also both endured the virus but never experienced it to the degree of severity that Peralta has. They have been without him for over a month. Lauxman said Peralta’s son might be working instead of going to college to help with cost of living.

“It’s really heartbreaking to see anyone go through this, let alone family,” she said. “My aunt (Chrysanne) lost her mom and grandma in January, … [Gonzalo] is fighting for his life, so she’s had a really tough year this year. She’s a fighter. She got through it this far. She’s doing great — holding it together for everyone in her family.”

Lauxman said donations, positive messages, prayers and raising awareness that the novel coronavirus is a real concern are all ways to help the Peralta family. She wants people to go out and have fun while also being safe and secure.

Safety and security are what Flint Hills Lanes Co-Owners Amy and Mark Martin aim to achieve at all times. They were proud to host this fundraiser and support the Peralta family. Amy Martin and Chrysanne Peralta are friends and even grew up together.

“When we [had] seen that Gonzalo was sick, I wanted to help her,” Amy Martin said. “I told her that I would look into doing something to help her, but then we closed.”

When the bowling alley reopened, Martin hopped on the opportunity to offer a bowling fundraiser. She said the alley was hoping for a larger turnout but was happy to have a few participants.

Flint Hills Lanes goes through extensive cleaning each morning. Each lane and all of the equipment used is thoroughly sanitized after each patron. Social distancing is encouraged, and available lanes are spaced out to help with that. Patrons are able to bring in their own equipment, too.

“We want to be a place where the community feels safe and secure to have fun,” Martin said.

Flint Hills Lanes will also be hosting a fundraiser in support of the Greater Emporia Area Disaster Relief Fund, scheduled for June 27. More details can be found on the bowling alley’s Facebook page.

Flint Hills Lanes, 1519 W. 6th Ave., is open noon - 9 p.m. Tuesday - Thursday, noon - 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon - 6 p.m. Sunday for the time being.

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