Little Rock wrestling team reaches goal of serving 200 hams to families in need
by Little Rock Athletics
Little Rock wrestlers help fill a van with 200 donated hams. Photo courtesy of Little Rock Athletics
LITTLE ROCK - The Little Rock wrestling team set an ambitious goal for their fourth annual holiday Ham Sale to donate 200 hams to local families in need. Last week, the Trojans met their goal and hand-delivered over 200 hams with the help of nonprofit Every Arkansan, just in time for the Christmas season.
"It was great to reach our goal, since we set a pretty high bar in hopes of helping a lot of people," said head coach Neil Erisman. "It was really fulfilling to be able to accomplish it. Watching the faces of the families makes it worth it every year."
The team passed off hams to Every Arkansas last Friday, who used their mobile truck services to deliver hams out to 14 neighborhoods throughout the Little Rock area. In the evening, members of the Little Rock wrestling team served at the Arkansas Dream Center's Family Night to reach even more local families directly.
"I am very excited by this donation," said Tori Martinez, an office administrator for Every Arkansan. "It's been a blessing to serve so many families this Christmas. We look forward to doing more together with the Little Rock wrestling team in the future."
"I really believe the partnership with Every Arkansan and the Arkansas Dream Center has allowed my guys to really see how fortunate they are," said Coach Erisman. "This great organization has created opportunities for our guys to find a great way to give back. Several of my guys have asked to continually go back and be a part of what they are doing there. I felt a sense of gratefulness for being able to serve after our last trip there."
This year was the third in a row that the Little Rock wrestling team partnered with Every Arkansan and the Dream Center. Last year, the team sent a record 125 hams over to the nonprofit, and with the help of donors across the country, nearly doubled that number this year. With an option to either donate or purchase a ham, a total of 630 hams were sold, with profits going toward the wrestling program's fundraiser.
"After our first year we only sold 100 hams, but we really saw the potential in it," added Coach Erisman. "We then wanted to create another element to the Christmas Ham Sale to help others in the community besides ourselves."
"I heard about the Dream Center through our church," he continued. "After we partnered with them, it exploded. We sold 350 the next year and now we sold over 600 hams and are looking to raise the bar even further next year. We hope to be the place in Little Rock that everyone goes for Christmas hams."
To keep in touch with the team and be the first one to know when next year's Christmas Ham Sale goes live, make sure to find the team on social media at @LittleRockWRES on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also stay updated with Little Rock wrestling on LRTrojans.com