EDMONTON, AB - “Childhood cancer is scary enough on its own.”
These are the words of Michael Avery Cook, the founder and organizer of Pro Wrestling YEG. The event is the culmination of years of hard work for the former professional wrestler, with the event set to take place this Saturday, April 13th at the NAIT gymnasium.
“Really, this event is almost two years in the making, if you count the “false start” of trying to make it happen for last April,” said Cook. “All I can really focus on at this point is my match and hitting that $30,000 fundraising goal. Anything else is time wasted.”
Since the announcement of Pro Wrestling YEG in early November, the fundraiser has raised over $26,000 en route to its goal of $30,000. Every dollar raised through the event will go directly to the Kids with Cancer Society.
The support, Cook says, has been overwhelming.
“The support from the community has been nothing short of amazing,” commented the event’s founder. “There were a lot of times where it felt like this arbitrary goal we set out for ourselves wasn’t going to even come close, but we’ve received outstanding support and it feels pretty real now. Edmonton and the YEG community in general really come together to support great organizations like Kids With Cancer Society, and we’re beyond grateful to have the opportunity to perform in front of these people for such a good cause.”
The Kids with Cancer Society
But why specifically the Kids with Cancer Society?
It was easy.
“When we were looking at this event and trying to figure out who would be a great charity partner with us, (former PWA Heavyweight Champion) Azrael had been doing an event called Squats for Tots, which had raised about $50,000 for the Kids with Cancer Society,” said Cook. “He mentioned we should look at them. We started meeting up with their community relations coordinator at the time, and once we got to learn a little more about them and what they do in the community it made a lot of sense to support them.”
“The Kids with Cancer takes care of a lot of the support programs (for families) that you wouldn’t even think of,” he continued. “They take care of accommodations for people coming in (from out-of-town), parking at the Stollery, and logistical problems like that. I’m a big believer in how the Kids With Cancer Society supports the needs of children and their families as they face these challenges head-on.”
“They keep overhead as low as they can, and they fill in all these little gaps that exist when kids and families are coming to do their cancer treatment. We’ve been absolutely thrilled to support them.”
Stepping Back in the Ring
Pro Wrestling YEG’s previously-announced partnership with the Prairie Wrestling Alliance ensured the event would not only be an excellent fundraiser but a hell of a professional wrestling show as well. On March 26, the promotion announced it’s inaugural match card, with many PWA favourites on deck for the show. One man making his return to the ring after 11 years is the founder of Pro Wrestling YEG himself.
“(Stepping back into the ring) has been a huge area of focus for me since (Pro Wrestling YEG) was announced,” said Cook on his return to the ring against “God’s Gift to Wrestling” Michael Richard Blais. “It’s not a small task to step back into the ring with anybody, much less the best in Alberta and likely Western Canada, Michael Richard Blais. Of course, he was trained by TJ Wilson (Tyson Kidd) who in my mind was the guy who closed the door on the Dungeon, so he’s a bit of a throwback in his training. He’s essentially an honorary Hart graduate; he has that wealth of knowledge in his arsenal. He’s the real deal.”
However, when asked if he had any final words for God’s Gift to Wrestling, Cook was succinct.
“Prepare your face for slapping.”
Pro Wrestling YEG Match Card
- The PWA Invitational Battle Royal
- Andy Anderson Open Challenge
- The Titan, “The Thickness” Reid Matthews, & the Above Average Joes vs. Colton Kelly, Kenneth Anthony, Ritchie Rage, & Bobby Sharp
- Shaun Moore & “Kid Chocolate” Mo Jabari vs. The League
- The PWA Original Marky vs. Brandon Van Danielson
- Sheik Akbar Shabaz vs. Mephisto vs. “The Omen” Gabriel
- Michael Avery Cook vs. Michael Richard Blais
Support the Kids with Cancer Society
Sponsorship and donation opportunities for Pro Wrestling YEG are still available, with tickets for the event available at ProWrestlingYEG.com. For more information on the event itself, contact event organizer Mike Cook at [email protected]
While Pro Wrestling YEG is the closest opportunity to support the Kids with Cancer Society, it’s not your only chance to support the organization. Dan’s 24 Hour Ride is less than one month away, so for those looking to continue their support past April 13th, visit the WCSN.
For more information on the Kids with Cancer Society, visit KidsWithCancer.ca.
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