Promotions Support a Great Holiday Cause

Toys-for-Tots

AS I SEE IT: Promotions Support a Great Holiday Cause
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
PWBTS.com

It’s been a year.

One whole year as I type this that my Mom died…from cancer…in a hospice in Mt. Holly, NJ after a three month final illness. My brother and I were there with her as she died peacefully in her sleep. It’s been a hard year with a type of loneliness you can’t describe unless you feel it yourself. It’s been a year that my brother and I have survived together… somehow. During this season, doing good in her memory is more meaningful than ever.

It’s a good thing then, that Kathy Fitzpatrick and I spent the anniversary of the day…or at least the evening… of December 5 at the 2300 (ECW) Arena, collecting Toys for Tots at the 2300 Arena’s Toys for Tots drive at the CHIKARA Pro Wrestling show. We did collect an overflowing box of toys.

MUCH thanks to Roger Artigiani and Brian McCulley of 2300 Arena for what they did to publicize the event on the 2300 Arena website, and wrestler extraordinaire Drew Gulak….who publicized this on Twitter and Facebook. Drew was the one and only person associated with CHIKARA who publicized this event.

Many promotions in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area, including Combat Zone Wrestling, ECWA, United Wrestling Coalition, and Ring of Honor have done a ton of work to publicize the collections at their shows in public, using social media to remind fans, shooting PSAs, and the like. CHIKARA did not. The collection got an overflowing box of toys because of the goodness of FANS, wrestling fans who show that they are always ready to give; when asked after a lot of extra hustle (and outright begging). This had to be done by a small handful to make up for what CHIKARA social media and email blasts could have easily done more effectively.

An FYI… Philadelphia’s Toys for Tots go to COMHAR (deals with MH/MR children and adults), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Philadelphia’s Ronald McDonald House, as well as smaller agencies and organizations. It’s safe to say that Roger, Brian, and Drew can be proud of what they did.

I suspect our next visit to the 2300 Arena in two weeks will be a happier experience, as Ring of Honor has run the Briscoes PSA on at least social media (and maybe more) to help repeatedly to publicize the collections at Final Battle and the December 19 TV taping (see below). Roger and Brian have had a hand in publicizing that, along with Jeff Jones of ROH/Sinclair (yes…the same Jeff Jones from ECW).

So…over the last month, I’ve been featuring items on independent wrestling doing that very thing. 49 different independent wrestling shows are or have been listed, involving food pantry collections, Toys for Tots collections, and other charitable efforts. There are many charity events that have happened so far, with thousands of dollars raised, and hundreds of toys and of canned and non-perishable food items collected:

* Hoosier Pro Wrestling contributed over $1,500 in toys and cash to the Fireman’s Cheer Fund of Columbus, IN from its November 7 and December 5 shows in Columbus, IN.

* Ring Wars Carolina contributed over 200 canned food items to a local food pantry from fans at its November 7 show.

* Furious Wrestling Society collected dozens of toys for the Memphis, IN area Toys for Tots campaign, and raised funds for wrestler Mitch Page at two November shows.

* Primal Conflict Wrestling collected nearly 50 pounds of canned goods for the Community Ministries Food Bank at its “A Night to Remember IX” show on November 13.

* World League Wrestling collected hundreds of non-perishables (including pork and beans, ramen noodles, canned vegetables, cereals, and pasta) at its final show on 2015 on November 14 in Troy, MO.

* Wrestling for a Cause raised nearly $1000 to the family of a child with cancer at The Fight for Matthew on November 14 in Owasso, OK.

* CWF Mid-Atlantic Wrestling and OMEGA Championship Wrestling combined for Headlock for Hunger with shows in Gibsonville, NC and Smithfield, NC that saw hundreds of non-perishables and canned food items collected to benefit the area’s Salvation Army Food Pantries.

* Old Time Wrestling collected numerous bags of food items at its November 21 weekly show in Williamstown, NJ.

* Ultimate Championship Wrestling held a successful benefit show on November 27 at the Prime Event Center in Bay City, MI; originally designed to benefit Cassidy Christie, the daughter of local wrestler Pete Christie. But Cassidy passed away on Veterans Day after a long battle from cancer. Brian Christopher and Scotty Too Hotty and Sabu appeared, which became a benefit for St. Catherine of Sienna in Bay City, MI.

* NWA Vendetta Pro Wrestling returned to November 27 for Winter Wonderslam in Santa Maria, CA. A number of toys were collected for local Toys for Tots efforts at the show.

* Power Pro Wrestling returned to The Milford Delaware Boys and Girls Club, in Milford, DE on November 28 for their annual Toys For Tots show. They were able to collect dozens of toys for Delaware children.

* TRUE Wrestling presented ‘Twas the Fight Before Christmas on November 28 in Berwick, PA, benefiting local Toys For Tots efforts, and was able to collect a large number of toys for Columbia County area children.

* Universyl Wrestling Enterprizes presented Headlock On Hunger on November 28 raising funds for The Shepards Table in Cadillac, MI. They are STILL collecting food and funds as we speak and donating it to the charity.

* 3XWrestling presented Holiday Havoc 6 on December 4 in Des Moines, IA, and collected toys at its annual Toys for Tots Drive.

* 2300 (ECW) Arena presented the first of their Toys for Tots collection on December 5 at the CHIKARA Pro Wrestling season finale at the 2300 (ECW) Arena with an overflowing box of toys, as well as cash donations, and food donations to Philabundance being collected.

* New England Championship Wrestling held its annual Toys for Tots collection/meet and greet at West Real Estate in Wilmington, MA on December 5, collecting nearly 100 toys.

* The originator of Toys for Toys events in the Philadelphia/South Jersey region, United Wrestling Coalition, did it again on December 5 at Kelly’s Bar/Banquet Hall, 14 Railroad Avenue, Wrightstown, NJ with 300-350 toys plus 10 bikes.

* ECWA Pro Wrestling held its annual Toys for Tots show on December 5 at the Woodbury Heights Community Center, Woodbury, NJ with six boxes of Toys for Tots collected.

* Right Coast Pro returned to Newark, DE on December 5 and collected 2 shopping carts of canned and nonperishable goods for the “Feed the Need Ministry” in Newark, DE and $500 for the Josh Jones Fund.

* WAR Wrestling returns to Lima, OH on December 5 for United or Divided in a fundraiser for the Veterans Food Pantry. raised over $600 in cash and a whole SUV full of food.

* Crossfire Wrestling presented Jingle Bell Brawl IV on December 5 at The Merritton Community St. Catharine’s, ON, and raised $500 for The Niagara Children’s Centre Foundation.

* New Era Wrestling returned to Golden, CO on December 5, collecting dozens of toys at their Toys for Tots collection.

* Charity Wrestling Show held its annual show in Kingston, ON, Canada on December 5 to benefit Hands of Hope, a charity that provides groceries over the holiday season to families in need, Christmas presents for kids and more.

* Pure Wrestling Association returned to Guelph, ON on December 4 and Kitchener, ON on December 5 for “Spirit of the Season” collecting scores of new, unwrapped toys and Guelph, ON on December 6 collecting many canned foods items.

* Xtreme Intense Championship Wrestling returned to Warren, MI on December 6 for Hardcore With A Heart at The Ritz collecting hundreds of canned goods to benefit the homeless of metro Detroit.
Here are the events still scheduled in December and January:

* Brew City Wrestling will run its annual Headlock for Hunger on December 11 at the Knight of Columbus Hall in West Allis, WI. The show features a food drive for the Hunger Task Force of Greater Milwaukee.

* Texas Wrestling Association returns to the Texas Wolverine All-Star Gym, San Antonio, TX on December 11 for Gold Envy, part of the annual Toy Drive for Mujeres Unidas benefit Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.

* Chaotic Wrestling will do its second Toys for Tots show of the year on December 11th at the Woburn, MA at the Elks Lodge, 295 Washington St, Woburn, MA.

* Grumpy’s Bail Bonds Operation Christmas sponsors show in Portland, TN at the Richland Park Gym on December 11 with Ricky Morton, Bill Dundee, and TNA’s Crimson.

* Wrestling for a Cause will run The Fight for Haylie on December 12 in Pryor, OK (7:00 pm belltime) . 100% of the show’s go to the family of a child with cancer.

* Join Game Changer Wrestling in Howell, NJ on December 12. On that night we will be giving back! Not only via our Toys for Tots fundraiser, but to a pioneer of our industry, as we honor “Reckless Youth” Tom Carter for his contributions to the sport of Pro Wrestling. Not only that, but #WWE Hall of Famer George “The Animal” Steele and the lovely Terri Runnels will be in the house. For this special celebration to kick off the holiday season with Santa and his elves, get your tickets, NOW by calling the GCW Ticket line at 201-257-8621.

* Chaotic Wrestling is joining forces once again with The United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots Program on December 12. In Lowell, MA, we will be collecting NEW, UNWRAPPED TOYS to help provide a happier holiday for families in need.

* All Star Wrestling presents Bodyslams For Toys on December 12 at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds, 6050 176 St, Surrey, BC, Canada. Bring a new unwrapped toy for a boy or girls with at least a $10 value and get in FREE.

* Combat Zone Wrestling presents its annual Toys for Tots collection (in conjunction with the Marine Corps Reserve) to take place for the eleventh year in a row with Combat Zone Wrestling’s 17th annual Cage of Death on December 12 at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ. Cage of Death is part of an all day CZW event, including a Combat Zone Wrestling afternoon student show at 2:00 pm.

* GALLI Lucha Libre presents its annual GALLI Toy Drive Navidad event in Villa Park, IL on December 13,

Here’s the PSA Ring of Honor Wrestling and Sinclair Broadcasting were kind enough to shoot for the Toys for Tots collections taking place at the 2300 Arena on December 18 for Final Battle and the TV taping the next night. Much thanks to Jeff Jones and Dem Boys (and thanks to Adam Cole for shooting another one, which may or may not still air). Please share this video liberally online and on social media…and if you’re coming, please bring a new, unwrapped toy on one or both of the next two shows.

Here again is the PSA features the Briscoes…in full effect:

* 2300 (ECW) Arena and Ring of Honor present a Toys for Tots collection at Ring of Honor’s Final Battle PPV on December 18 at the 2300 (ECW) Arena on December 18 with an 8:30 pm belltime.

* 2300 (ECW) Arena and Ring of Honor present a Toys for Tots collection at Ring of Honor’s TV taping on December 19 at the 2300 (ECW) Arena on December 18 with an 6:00 pm belltime.

* Premiere Wrestling Xperience is offering an opportunity for spectators to bring a new unwrapped toy to the Hickory National Guard Armory, 1251 8th St NE in Hickory, NC on December 19. Spectators who bring a new unwrapped toy (with a suggested minimum value of just $10) can attend their event for only $10 and any child, aged 12 and under, who also brings an unwrapped toy will be FREE in rows 3-8.

* SCW Entertainment returns to the Coronaca Fire Department in Coronaca, PA for the 5th annual Toys for Tots event on December 19. Featured matches: Anderson Strong (c) vs. Dean Richards in a SCW Heavyweight Championship/30 Minute Iron Man Match, TJ Boss vs. Ben Wright in a Cage Match/Loser Leaves SCW/Winner is # 1 Contender to the SCW Heavyweight Title, and Kat Daddy (c) vs. Karl Hager for the SCW Internet Championship

* Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling will hold Wrestling With Hunger in at the Elks Hall #49 ,2272 Leigh Square, Port Coquitlam, BC on December 19 (8:00 pm belltime/ 7:30 doors open) to support Share Family Services Food Bank. All seats ONLY $16

* Keystone Championship Wrestling will hold its yearly Toys for Tots show, tentatively scheduled for December 19.

* SPW returns to Sacramento’s SPW Arena on Sunday, December 20, with Brian Tannen defending the SPW Heavyweight Title against Scoot Robertson — The Beautiful People defending the SPW Tag Team Titles against the Honor Society — Michael Hayashi defends the SPW Xtreme Title against Airon Skye — and Joe DeSoul in a grudge match against Ring Announcer Ethan White. Fans donating an unwrapped toy will get half-price admission in our annual Toys For Kids promotion!

* Great Canadian Wrestling presents Season’s Beatings ’15 on December 27 at Harmony Creek Community Hall, 15 Harmony Rd. N, Oshawa Ontario. This is the annual Christmas show for local food bank. Fans are asked to bring donations for Harmony Creek food bank. No matches yet announced.

* On Point Wrestling presents its third anniversary show on January 2 at the Old Time Wrestling Arena
1041 Glassboro Road (Monroe Business Center) Building C/Suite 1 – Williamstown, NJ. Doors open at 6:30 pm/7:00 pm belltime. Main Event, for the On Point Championship/No Rope Barbed Wire; Joey Janela defends against Oz Tyler (with Loudy). A Toys for Tots collection will take place at the show.

Between all of these over the years, tens of thousands of children have been able to have a Christmas or Hanukkah. Please help your local independent promotion do the same, or encourage them to schedule an event soon for the Holidays if they haven’t already. If you’re a promoter, PLEASE email me and let me know of your holiday charity themed plans (fund-raisers/collections for clothes, food pantries, Toys for Toys, etc.) at wrestling or MMA events to [email protected]

If you have comments or questions, or if you’d like to add the AS I SEE IT column to your website, I can be reached by e-mail at the address above.

Until next time…
Bob Magee