PRINCETON — The students at Princeton Elementary Schools are ready to rumble.
Excitement is building for the annual professional wrestling charity event, Rumble for the Kids, which takes place Saturday, April 21, in the gymnasium at Logan Junior High School.
Proceeds of this event benefit PES students.
Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased from PES students, at area businesses or even at the door on the evening of the event. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., and bell time is at 5 p.m.
The evening will feature Demolition Ax & Smash, former WWF tag team champs; Honky Tonk Man, former WWF Intercontinental Champ; Dick the Bruiser Jr., current WWA Heavyweight Champ; and many more professional wrestlers.
Frankie the Chi-town Hitman, who is a former professional wrestler himself and heads up this event each year, talked about just how important the funds raised will be for the school district.
The money will support safety and security needs and help fund the STEM program, field trips and playground upkeep in the district.
“This charity pro-wrestler event is more than just entertainment. It’s about helping the huge need in our schools,” he said.
This event has been supporting PES for several years. In the past, the funds went directly to PES Plays, which was a group that formed to help raise money for much-needed playground equipment in the district. Rumble for the Kids events had raised around $40,000 for that group.
PES Superintendent Tim Smith pointed out just how significant that money has been for his district.
“It has benefited substantially, because we have been able to improve virtually all our playgrounds in the district,” he said.
“The Rumble for the Kids money is pretty meaningful to us, and certainly with it going towards school safety measures this year. That’s huge and much appreciated.”
Frankie said Rumble for the Kids is a family-friendly event and one that’s always popular with the kids.
“The kids do love it. It’s a lot of fun. They like the flamboyant costumes, music, lights and all that cool stuff,” he said.
“The loudness of the crowd cheering — it’s a rush.”
While many of the wrestlers come out swinging with their tough side, it’s evident they all have a soft side in them somewhere. Frankie said many take pride in doing this charity event each year for the kids.
“A lot of the wrestlers cancel other gigs and work their schedules around to come to this event, because they’re doing a good deed and feel positive about doing something nice and giving back.”
Another thing to point out about Rumble for the Kids is it draws tourism to the Princeton area. Frankie said the wrestlers stay in the hotels, buy gas and food, and sometimes are known to pop into one of the shops in the downtown area.
Because this wrestling event is family-oriented, many of the wrestlers also bring their own families. Plus, there are the fans who follow the wrestlers. Frankie said people will be coming in from all areas around the state to see the wrestlers live and find out what the show is all about.
There is an opportunity for goers to meet the wrestlers in person and see them in action up close. Those who pay a $10 V.I.P. upgrade will be able to get in to the event at an earlier time for a meet-and-greet session. The upgrade also comes with priority seating. Goers will need to purchase the upgrade at 3 p.m. at the door on the day of the event.
Frankie said the families, the businesses and the talent are what make this event successful each year. The families get to make memories with their kids at an economical price, the businesses and sponsors help support the event to make it look impressive and the talent performs to their fullest and puts on an entertaining show for the crowd.
Frankie gives a special “thank you” to all the businesses and sponsors that have shown their support for the Rumble for the Kids.
“It’s been nice to see so many organizations coming together to help such a great cause and it’s taken the burden off of one sponsor to make this the best it can be. It’s really great. It shows community unity,” he said.
Businesses still have time to be a sponsor. Those interested can call 815-879-4411 or reach out through the Rumble for the Kids Facebook page. Donations are also being accepted.
Questions about tickets can also be answered by calling the above phone number or through the Facebook page.
This year’s event sponsors include ServiceMaster Restore, F.I.S.T., Princeton Elks Lodge, Princeton Optimist Club, Princeton Lions Club, Princeton Moose Lodge and Princeton Jaycees.