A New XperienceIn South Boston, Va., a high school recently hosted a wrestling show as a fundraiser that featured one of its teachers.
With an active side career as a professional wrestler, Halifax County (Va.) High School graphic arts and yearbook teacher Stevie Woltz is pretty familiar with the sport. That knowledge recently paid off for both jobs with a Premiere Wrestling Xperience (PWX) Test of Strength professional wrestling event that was held at Halifax County High School as a fundraiser on April 13.
"Aside from teaching, wrestling is what I know," Woltz says. "So I decided to do the Test of Strength show and raise some money for the school."
The three-hour event was held in the school's gymnasium and consisted of eight matches, one of which featured Woltz. General admission tickets cost $10 and front-row seats were $20. "With front-row seats, attendees got to come in an hour before the show to meet the wrestlers," he says. "Many people went to that and got autographs and pictures."
Altogether, about 400 people attended. "We had a lot of positive feedback," Woltz says. "It was a really good show--some of the best wrestling they had seen in this area--and people enjoyed it."
Woltz used his connection with Premiere Wrestling Xperience to plan and promote the event, which functioned as a fundraiser by having all of net profit donated to the art, yearbook, and athletic departments at the school. The first step in planning the Test of Strength was getting approval from the school and state, which happened in October.
"PWX is based in Charlotte, N.C., and this was the first time it held an event in Virginia," Woltz says. "So we had to find out how to work with the state's licensing procedures.
"After that, we lined up the wrestlers," he continues. "They all work as independent contractors, so we contacted their agents to work out the details individually."
The PWX promotions department supplied posters and print materials, including the tickets. "With the company being based more than three hours away, I took care of putting posters up, running information in the local newspaper, and doing radio interviews," says Woltz. "We started advertising for the show less than a month in advance, then we sold tickets at the school. In addition, some local businesses agreed to sell tickets for us, and PWX sold them online."
On the day of the event, some of Woltz's students helped set up. "PWX brought in the ring, guardrails, and everything else the show needed except the seating, since the school already had that available," he says. "Altogether, it took a couple of hours to get everything set up, and then about the same amount of time to take it down."
In terms of advice for others, Woltz recommends integrating your strongest talents. "I don't think anybody is just going to up and run a wrestling show," he says. "I did it because it's my side career, so my advice would be to play to your strengths. Use your skills and knowledge to your advantage."