I spent three days greeting fans and wrestlers in the Nostalgia Room at the Cauliflower Alley Club reunion in Vegas last week, and in those three days, I got to know Carol Castle and the crew from the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame. Carol had come not only to promote the Hall, which is a wonderful thing in and of itself, but to promote a new program called Wrestling 4 Life.
Wrestling for Life is a program within the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame created to bring public awareness to the double and triple suicide rates amongst our first responders and dedicated to the reduction of the suicide rates of our law enforcement officers, fire fighter, EMS and corrections officers: public servants put their lives on the line every day for us!
This mission of Wrestling 4 Life is personal for Carol Castle. Her son, Maury, committed suicide two years ago. He was a firefighter. having suffered such a terrible, personal loss, Carol wanted to do something to fight the epidemic suicide rates amongst first responders. I invited Carol to write about the program personally, and here’s what she asked me to share:
Wrestling 4 Life was an idea that took place in Minnesota yet was born in Las Vegas. On April 28th, 2019, we had a seminar at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino. It was geared providing information to Police, Fire, EMS and Corrections. We also invited Casino Security. The keynote speaker was Randy Sutton, a Las Vegas PD Veteran and a spokesman for Blue Lives Matter. Other speakers included Joe Mauriello, a retired Cook County Sheriffs Police who talked of the 7 suicides in 6 months of officers; Brent Brooks, wrestler and MMA fighter, who spoke about the issues wrestlers and fighters have; and Chelsea Davenport, who was there to represent Safe Call Now. Chelsea stressed how they provide resources and services to the individuals, and their families across the US and Canada.
“It was in Las Vegas we rolled out the Life Coin, a heavyweight coin that is striking in its appearance with a phone number to call when help is needed. This Life Coins should be in every pocket of every police officer, fire fighter, EMS, and corrections officer as a reminder that help is always nearby.
“We told those in attendance that we planned to use wrestlers to help open up the dialog and get the message out to the public that this suicide epidemic must stop.
“The very next day was the beginning of Cauliflower Alley Club and the roll out of our wrestling life coin. We had donated one for each member of CAC. The doors opened at 10am. It was gratifying to see that within the first hour, two lives were impacted and saved using the wrestling life coin and calling Safe Call Now. This was two years after my son, the fire fighter, had taken his life.
“The first step is to get Life Coin in the pockets of those who need them! Coins can be purchased through the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame website, and proceeds from the sales of the coins will be donated to the Safe Call Now organization. They are a 501c3 dedicated to prevention and crisis control for our public servants across the US and Canada.
I believe we need to get a Life Coin in every ones pocket. These are a lifeline. It is so true: We are all wrestling for life, just some more than others.”
I’m happy to say Carol found the warmest of receptions from the Cauliflower Alley Club. Everyone in attendance was given a coin and encouraged to spread the word to others. If you know someone working in Police, Fire, EMS, or Corrections, I urge you to purchase a coin for them now. Even if you don’t know someone who could use a coin please consider donating to support their cause.