Bandslam: Where school band and pro wrestling rumble.
That's the idea behind Saturday’s event at hosted by Gold Rush Pro Wrestling referee Sparkey Ballard ( employee Mark Claussen) and the school’s band director Jerry Downs. The event generates money for the school band through concession sales and helps send students on field trips.
As you walked into the gymnasium on Saturday night, your eye was immediately drawn to the elevated wrestling ring in the middle of the room. Hundreds gathered in anticipation of the Bandslam, and since this was its second year, many knew what to expect: an evening full of music and wrestling.
"I was given a couple of tickets to come and see this for the first time and I think it’s great,” said Donna, a Pacifica resident. “I was a little nervous at first because it’s a contact sport, but after seeing it I think it’s great for the kids and they are leaving tonight with a better understanding of sportsmanship and community."
As the titans of the ring pounced on each other, the students and spectators were on the edge of their seats; completely focused and engaged by the show that Gold Rush Pro Wrestling was putting on.
The wrestlers had a good time, too.
"All I have wanted to do is wrestle ever since I was 10 years old,” said Jeckels the Jester, a wrestler with Gold Rush Pro. “This event is special to me because it helps the community and helps raise money for the school."
Among the attendees were a few of Pacifica’s VIPs, including Maxime Kumler, Miss Pacifica 2011. Her role on Saturday was to walk on stage between rounds showing the sponsor of that round and help out with other attractions (including giveaways).
"This is actually the first time I have ever been to one of these wrestling events and I’m having a wonderful time,” said Kumler. “It’s so much fun. You can see all of the families out here tonight, all of these generations together really enjoying themselves and all supporting a local school. I think it’s wonderful."
Claussen and Downs considered the event a success.
"Tonight we are bringing in all aspects of the community," Claussen said. "I have worked for the school district for 10 years and I have always wanted to incorporate the band and do the fundraiser. The school district has been responsible for my living for 10 years and I love the kids and wanted to find a way to give back. Jerry Downs is a lifetime wrestling fan and I presented him with the idea for this fundraiser and he loved it. I put a lot of time and effort into all of the details of this event to make sure it was as successful as possible for the school."