West Hall Slam
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: West Hall Middle School, 5470 McEver Road, Oakwood
How much: $5 general admission, $10 ring-side
More info: 770-967-4871
Instead of candy bars and wrapping paper, West Hall Middle School will be using body slams and tag teams to raise money.
After searching for unique fundraising ideas, school administrators settled on the West Hall Slam — a wrestling match that will pit professionals against one another and also West Hall faculty.
“Our principal wanted us to come up with creative ways of fundraising,” said Deloris Bagwell, a West Hall math instructor and mother of a professional wrestler. “I suggested (a wrestling match) after hearing about a college hosting an event to raise money for a child with cancer.”
Friday’s event was originally planned for February, but was rescheduled because of snow.
“We wanted something that would bring in the community, as well as our school families,” Bagwell said. “We made the prices very reasonable so that they could participate. The average gate price for attending these matches is between $25 and $35 — (our) general admission is $5, and ring-side seats are $10.”
The match will feature a unique mix of wrestlers — from a Cherokee County drama teacher to a pair of Hispanic wrestlers that will make their American debut. Friday’s match also will be wrestler Colt Derringer’s final match before retirement.
“This particular group of wrestlers is very willing to work with groups to raise money for a needy cause,” Bagwell said. “They actually travel and wrestle all over the Southeast.”
The main event also will feature some local talent. West Hall Assistant Principal Tyrone Lucas will wrestle, as will a former West Hall student who now goes by the stage name JT Talent.
Money raised will be used to supply extras that have been removed from school budgets to save money.
“We are very aware of all the budget cuts that will continue into the next school year,” Bagwell said. “Our teachers are very dedicated to finding ways to supply our students with all of the materials they need.”
“One or our goals is to make enough money to purchase more technology for the classrooms,” she said. “Interactive boards like SMART Boards are very successful tools for reaching students, but we are (currently) limited to the number of classrooms we can actually supply.”