Pro wrestlers aiding kids

It's an interesting dichotomy.

On one side you have hulking, burly, mean professional wrestlers - on the other are kids who, for one reason or another are less fortunate than most.

Kelowna Invasion, a professional wrestling event held at the Rutland Centennial Hall last October, raised $21,000 for children's charities in Kelowna and Abbotsford.

Cheques were presented Wednesday afternoon to the KGH Foundation, Kelowna Family Y Strong Kids Program, Abbotsford Special Adventures which takes children to Disneyland and BC Children's Hospital which assisted more than 600 Kelowna children in 2013.

"I play a villain on the show and I definitely embrace the boos and the jeers I get from the audience but when it comes down to it, it does mean a lot that we are going to help so many sick kids," says wrestler and promoter Scotty Mac.

"An opportunity like this we don't always get and I definitely like to take full advantage of it when we do.

The event was so successful organizers Mike Chisholm and Mike Rizzo have organized Kelowna Invasion 2: Straight Outta Rutland May 2, also at Centennial Hall.

Chisholm says the idea came out of their passion for both professional wrestling and the desire to help people.

"I really believe that putting an event together for the community that benefits many charities in the community was a no brainer," says Chisholm.

"We were tickled pink by the response, it blew us away. The response was so overwhelming that the moment the show ended everybody was asking when the second show was going to be."

He says the same charities will likely benefit again from the second event.

Chisholm is a senior financial advisor with World Financial Group while Rizzo is warehouse manager for Costco.

Despite the corporate reputation of the two companies, Chisholm says it's not much of a stretch to associate their names with pro wrestling.

"I've told people over and over and over again, a well constructed, good wrestling show will rival any movie, it will rival a concert, it will rival a concert.

The entertainment value is actually incredible. It's addictive, it's fun, the energy is unbelievable. It's a great time seeing the bad guy get what's coming to him by the end of the night."

Former WWE superstar Val Venis will headline the card which includes local wrestling stars Kyle Sabastian, Collin Cutler and Mike ShreddZ.

Advance tickets are available at World Gym, the Packinghouse Pub and Lorenzo's Barber Shop. Tickets are $15 in advance, four for $50 and $20 at the door.

"To be perfectly honest I don't think there will be many tickets at the door," says Chisholm.

"If we jam the place and sell the place out again we'll be talking about Kelowna Invasion 3 maybe in a bigger venue."


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