Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Jell-O Wrestling Raises $46,000

On Sunday, May 4, the 21st Annual Reno Gannon Memorial Jell-O Wrestling took place at Woody's located at 3710 N. Oracle. The following is a letter from Wendell Hicks, the Executive Director of SAAF about the event.

This past Sunday, May 4th, the 21st Annual Reno Gannon Memorial Jell-O Wrestling Extravaganza and Benefit Auction put on a terrific party with great participation from the community raising over $46,000.00 for prevention programs and client services offered by the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation in an effort to reduce new HIV infections in southern Arizona, increase education and knowledge on how to reduce the risk of HIV, and continue to support those living with or affected by HIV and AIDS.

The wrestling teams did an outstanding job of raising funds bringing in a total (thus far) of over $11,330.00! THANK YOU wrestlers! A huge thank you to Dave Huff, Frank Schepis and Danny Scott, owners of Woody’s for hosting this famous event. Their generosity and commitment to creating a healthier community by raising much needed funds for services and prevention education for HIV and AIDS has been outstanding. The day began at 2pm with Bunny Fu Fu and Janee Star hosting the pre-event party complete with carnival games, a silent auction and great food served by Chef Gerry Oldenski of DynaSet. The amazing Lucinda Holliday took the stage at 4pm, with Barbra Seville and assistance by Diana Flair, Ajia Simone, and Tempest Du Jour. We thank them for the gift of time and entertainment, and for their ongoing dedication to raising funds and awareness for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Warm thanks go to Joe Roos who again served as the referee to keep all the wrestlers safe and Bob Fischella who was our trusty “hoser-off-er”! Robin Stancliff donated her amazing photographic talents to document the day, as well as photographing our six hostesses and arranging headshots with each of them which were all auctioned off! Thanks also go to La Cocina Restaurant and Tolteca Tlacuilo at Old Town Artisans, for donating the Jell-O and dye and to the great Jell-O making crew, headed up by Willie Gradillas who turned out over 50 5-gallon buckets of orange and yellow Jell-O. And a special thanks to Chad Froeschke with WhiteSpace Design for designing our great ads and graphics for this year’s materials!

Jell-O is pleased and honored this year to receive outstanding event sponsorship contributions from many local businesses helping to underwrite this year’s festivities. Title Sponsor Woody’s, Heavyweight Champion Sponsor: Fascinations, Cruiserweight Champion Sponsors: Venture ‘N and GayTucson.com, Patron Sponsors: Colors Food & Spirits, IBT’s, Speedway Veterinary Hospital, the Tucson GLBT Chamber of Commerce and Reveille Men’s Chorus, and Supporting Sponsors: Farmers Insurance (Tim Brown), Professional Bartenders Unlimited, Stand Firm Personal Training, The Historic Y Hall, iap consultants, Will’s General Auto Repair and Tucson Pride. This year’s Raffle Sponsors included: Flamingo Hotel & Casino, the Wait Staff at Emeril’s Las Vegas, VisiTicket through Las Vegas Power Pass, and Providence of Arizona Inc. In addition there was generous media coverage from ION Arizona Magazine, Arizona Pride Guide, and ‘N Touch News, and as always The Observer. Thank you!

The Reno Gannon Jell-O Wrestling Extravaganza has become one of the hottest tickets in town and would not be successful without the dedication of the committee: Steve Barreto, Eddie Gallego, Willie Gradillas, Dave Huff, Harry Lewis, Dave Locke, Natalie Perry, Joe Roos, Frank Schepis, Danny Scott and Helga W√∂cherl. The committee energizes this event and the community’s involvement. SAAF is grateful for all their contributions and dedication to make Jell-O the amazing event that it is!

Congratulations to the winner of the raffle this year, David Zinke! The ticket was sold by Dan Borysewicz from the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation! Thanks so much for participating and enjoy your trip to Las Vegas!

As always, the event had a great group of loyal volunteers on the scene to help everything run smoothly. Jell-O would not be possible without the strong support from community volunteers, staff, bars, entertainers, and others- SO A BIG JELL-O THANK YOU to everyone! In addition, the crowd in attendance was incredibly supportive and enthusiastic, and once again everyone opened their hearts and gave and gave for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in our local community. It is in large part due to community fundraising efforts like the Reno Gannon Memorial Jell-O Wrestling Extravaganza that SAAF is able to continue to provide critical programs and services for the community.

To everyone involved with this event, THANK YOU! Jell-O was a success because of you!

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