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We make a life by what we give…

Posted on: 09.11.18 By: Gary Berkowitz


Imagine you’re part of a local group forming a budding wrestling program to introduce wrestling to the community. You’ve become head coach. Congratulations! Your group comes up with a budget of $1,750 for things like a mat, medical kit, clock and insurance. Your group raises just over $1,000 through bake and candy sales, donations, and a flea market. Since money doesn’t grow on trees and your group has exhausted every possibility they can think of to raise additional funds, your new wrestling program is in jeopardy of not being able to get off the ground.
Or consider:


Member of the wrestling family needing a hand up due to a recent tragic accident that has placed an unexpected and material financial strain on the family; or,


Visualizing yourself as a member of the U.S. men’s freestyle team headed to the Junior Pan American Championships in Brazile. You need financial support to help cover your flight, room and board; or,
Maybe you’re one of 550 American athletes going to compete in the Rio Olympics, but finding the money to get you and your family to Rio isn’t going to be easy; or,


Local wrestling organization needs some financial assistance to support its operations, growth, etc., however, the organization doesn’t have the necessary resources to assist.
Where do you go or who do you turn to in these situations?


Wrestling Officials United (WOU), through our “Legacy Fund”, was founded on the principle that “as wrestling officials, we share a commitment for charitable giving which contributes to the common good of wrestling”. The “Legacy Fund” strives to bridge funding gaps for wrestling initiatives, program enrichment, and individual achievement directed at all levels of wrestling: scholastic, collegiate and international. Whether to assist in acquiring equipment, travel, training, or education, WOU believes opportunities to pursue excellence in wrestling should not be limited by our athletes’ or organizations’ financial situations.


We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.
-Winston S. Churchill

Shiels Reflects on Stoneman Douglas Response to Shooting

Posted on: 08.14.18 By: Gary Berkowitz


Few in wrestling will ever forget the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting that took the life of wrestling coach Chris Hixon at the Parkland High School last February. His community responded by establishing a scholarship fund in Hixon’s name to provide scholarships for students at three schools where he previously worked. This was evidence of a community coming together to give back for what Hixon gave to them.
Tim Shiels, NCAA National Coordinator of Wrestling Officials, was so taken by Hixon’s community efforts that last March, at the annual officials’ meeting in Cleveland, proposed creating an annual funding program through monies collected from this wrestling officials’ group. Shiels believes “the overwhelming majority of officials want to give back to the sport they love and thinks it’s representative of the majority of the people we have as NCAA officials.”


Shiels went on to explain “officials are human, we make difficult and at times unpopular calls – we make mistakes. However, we should not lose sight that we have so many people and officials at the youth, high school, college and international levels, who not only want to make the right call, they officiate or volunteer because they first and foremost love wrestling. What better way as officials to associate our devotion to the sport by what we give back to it.”


“Wrestling Officials United (WOU), speaks to our vision” said Shiels. “It’s just not the 450+ NCAA officials, but rather the linking of multiple levels of officials across all platforms willing to offer support to groups, individuals and special programs in need of financial resources.”


“Hopefully, people will look back at the different instances where WOU provided financial support and realize that officials, like so many people in our sport truly understand that wrestling needs to continue to flourish and provide opportunities for generations of young men and women.”

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