Volunteers wrestle to fund new bandstand at Berkeley Springs park

July 28, 2008|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- They got slammed down, bounced into ropes, kicked, punched and swirled, and the crowd loved it.

Wrestlers from the House of Pain Wrestling Federation entertained the audience of about 100 people Sunday afternoon to raise funds to pay for the new bandstand at Troubadour Park. The bandstand was destroyed by fire in April.

Jim McCoy, owner of the Troubadour, said the new 34-by-20-foot-bandstand cost about $32,000. It has a dressing room and storage room for the musicians' instrument cases.

McCoy and wrestler Danny Boyd are friends. McCoy said Boyd and wrestler John Rambo wanted to raise money to pay for the bandstand.


Boyd is from Martinsburg, W.Va., and met McCoy when his family had a deer camp in Morgan County.

Boyd, who lives in Charleston, W.Va., is a professor at West Virginia University and teaches filmmaking. He trained to become a wrestler in Charleston, he said, and wrestled in high school.

Rambo said he is from Bethlehem, Pa., and has been wrestling for about 21 years. He is the owner of the House of Pain, a wrestling school in Hagerstown.

Rambo teaches wrestling at the school, and the school gives free shows for the community. The school was opened in 1991 by Rambo's friend Neil Superior but Rambo took it over in 1997, he said.

Mark Winter, a fundraiser for the McGuire Memorial Foundation, a home for sick children in Beaver, Pa., attended Sunday's event. He said Rambo and other wrestlers are returning to Beaver in October to raise funds.

Robert Farrell, 16, a 10th-grader at South Hagerstown High School, was one of the participating wrestlers. He attends the House of Pain wrestling school and has been learning how to wrestle since December, he said.

Shorty Smalls came from Manassas, Va., and has been a wrestler for 14 years. He said he was unable to participate Sunday, since he recently injured his back.

"I love it," Smalls said. "We are weekend wrestling warriors. It's awesome."

Samu Anoai said he has been wrestling for more than 30 years. He was a member of the National Wrestling League and has a wrestling school called the Wild Samoan Training Center in Allentown, Pa. He said his school promotes volunteer work like fundraising.

Anoai's father, Afa, and uncle, Sika, were professional wrestlers and were inducted into the Hall of Fame, he said.

Donations for the bandstand can be sent to Friends of the Troubadour, c/o Kat Stotler or Kelly Waugh, at 25 Troubadour Lane, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411.

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