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|Biggest weekend of the year planned for Dan Gable Wrestling Museum on July 13-14|
By Kyle Klingman Dan Gable Wrestling Museum
WATERLOO, Iowa - Stars from the world of sports and a legendary Hollywood stunt man will be the featured guests at the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum when the facility hosts its biggest event of the year July 13-14.
The weekend event is the primary fundraising event for the not-for-profit company, which moved to Waterloo in January after a nine-year run in Newton.
All events are open to the public.
"We have gone all out to make this a family-oriented, fun weekend," said Mike Chapman, the museum's executive director. "We think anyone who attends any one of the five major events will have a great time meeting some of the legends of pro wrestling, and many others sports figures."
The weekend revolves around the inductions into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. The inductions will be held Saturday, July 14, at 11 a.m. at the museum. It is open to the public for the regular general admission prices.
"The ceremony lasts about an hour, then fans can mingle and meet the inductees and about a dozen former hall of famers. One of the top attractions will be the appearance of Judo Gene LeBell, a top Hollywood stuntman who is a legend in the world of mixed martial arts, and was a pro wrestling star in the 1950s and '60s. He received the museum's Frank Gotch Award in 2005 and has come back ever since.
"It's one of the highlights of my year to be involved with the Gable Museum," said LeBell. "I am really looking forward to seeing the new facility in Waterloo."
"Gene has met most of the big names in Hollywood history," said Chapman. "He was with Georges Reeves, the Iowan who played Superman on television in the 1950s, the night George was shot to death in his Hollywood home."
LeBell will have his biography for sale at the museum, as will Handsome Harley Race, one of the biggest pro stars of the past half-century.
In addition, visitors can see a 40-mintue tribute to legendary wrestler Lou Thesz, and the ESPN Sports Century show on Dan Gable.
Other events include a celebrity golf tournament and a pro wrestling show at Young Arena, both on Friday, and the Inductions Banquet Saturday night at the Five Sullivan Brothers Center. Banquet tickets, pro wrestling show tickets, and golfer tickets are available for purchase on the museum website at www.wrestlingmuseum.org or by calling the museum at 319-233-0745.
"We have been looking forward to this event for two years, since we attended the golf tournament in Newton," said Gary Wheat, director of the Waterloo Convention and Visitors Bureau. "This weekend promises to be a great showcase event for Waterloo and the entire Cedar Valley. We are very excited about it."
The five big events of the July 13-14 weekend are:
1. Celebrity Golf Tournament, Noon Friday, July 13, at Gates Park -- The public is invited to play with some greats from the world of sports, including Don Perkins, ex-running back with Dallas Cowboys; Rick Folkers, eight years in the major leagues; Dan Gable, Olympic wrestling champion and coach of 15 NCAA team champions at Iowa; Other celebrities include Johnny Orr, legendary ISU basketball coach; Ed Banach, 1984 Olympic champion; Kevin Boyle, former Iowa basketball star who played with the Philadelphia 76ers; Sherwyn Thorson, Canadian Football hall of fame and NCAA wrestling champion at Iowa; Mike Reilly, former Iowa All-American football player and pro star with the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings; Olympic wrestlers Tom Peckham and Chuck Yagla; NCAA champions Mark Ironside and Les Anderson; and pro wrestling legends Baron Von Raschke, Nikita Koloff, Dan Hodge and many more! To sign up, call Skip Horton at 319-291-4485. The deadline is Thursday, July 12, at noon.
2. Pro Wrestling matches 7 p.m. Friday, July 13, at Young Arena -- Come see rising stars like Trevor Murdoch of the WWE, and former stars like Steve "Dr. Death" Williams. A great card... PLUS at ringside will be hall of fame wrestlers Dan Hodge, Baron Von Raschke, Mad Dog Vachon, Larry "The Axe" Hennig, Tom Drake, Red Bastien, Ted DiBiase (the Million Dollar Man) and the great Judo Gene Lebell, legendary wrestler, Hollywood stunt man and author! For tickets, call the Wrestling Museum at 319-233-0745.
3. Inductions Ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 14, at Gable Museum - Experience the inductions into the pro wrestling hall of fame at the museum. Red Bastien, Steve "Dr. Death" Williams, the family of Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig and Ted DiBiase, "The Million Dollar Man," will be present. Afterwards, they will greet the public. Also, several book authors - including Judo Gene LeBell, Harley Race, and Mike Chapman - will have their books for sale and will be signing them.
4. Inductions Banquet, 7 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at 5 Sullivan Brothers Center - Banquet for 2007 Hall of Fame. Present will be Red Bastien, Steve "Dr. Death" Williams and Ted DiBiase, "The Million Dollar Man." Also present will be the family of Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig and a dozen former hall of fame inductees, including Judo Gene LeBell and Dan Hodge. Tickets are $65 and MUST be ordered by 5 pm Tuesday, July 10, by calling the museum at 319-233-0745.
5. Silent auction during the golf tournament at Gates - One-of-a-kind items available, including: a football signed by Bobby Stoops of the University of Oklahoma; a football signed by former Super Bowl quarterback Brad Johnson; a poster of Don Perkins during his career with the Dallas Cowboys; a baseball signed by Waterloo sports stars Rich Folkers, Don Perkins and Dan Gable; a DVD "Tarzan the Apeman" signed by Denny Miller, who played basketball for John Wooden at UCLA before becoming Tarzan in 1959; a signed poster of Billy Mills, 10,000-meter Olympic champion who was the focus of the movie, "Running Brave," signed Chuck Norris autobiography, signed John Irving autobiography and more fascinating items! All proceeds go to the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum.