Sept. 25, 2007
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University wrestling team did its part to make the world a better place this summer as they helped out with a variety of community service projects, both here in West Lafayette and in other venues of the country.
One project for nearly half of the team was the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon presented by Purdue Television and Multimedia Production Services, Purdue Broadcast Network Services and WLFI-TV 18. The telethon was especially successful this year, raising a record total of $290,000. "It's great for us to be able to give back some," said sophomore Justin Fraga. "With all of the opportunities and resources that Purdue provides us, the wrestling team was excited about helping out with such a great cause. We're just happy to be able to do our part."
Assistant Coach Tom Erikson represented the Boilermaker wrestling program for the second straight year at the annual Catch-A-Dream outdoor recreational event, presented by the Colusa Indian Community's Outdoor Adventures program in Colusa, Calif. The event was organized to provide a recreational weekend getaway for children and their families who are battling life threatening illnesses or disabilities. Erikson was one of many celebrity guests at the event along with former professional wrestler and movie actor Bill Goldberg, movie and television actor Jim Cody Williams and professional mixed martial arts fighters Gary Goodridge and Don Frye.
"As a Coach and a former Olympic level athlete I have had the pleasure to run across many special people, special in who there are and what they have done," said Erikson. "All those people pale in comparison to those I had the pleasure to spend time with at this event. It was with these kids and their families that you truly realized the phrase `live each day to the fullest as it may be your last' meant more than just words."
These two events are the latest in a long line of community service by the Purdue wrestling team. The Boilermaker grapplers and coaching staff lend a large amount of time to the local River City Wrestling Club and several charitable organizations. "I really think that helping out in the community is our responsibility," added Purdue head coach Scott Hinkel. "People from the community come out and support us in our competitions. This is our way to show them how much we appreciate them."