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Group picture at fundraiser for Giving Hearts.

For the Sunrise and the West River Health Services foundations, a night of youth and high school wrestling was a big success Tuesday (Jan. 7) in Hettinger.

According to Ted Uecker, the director of the West River Foundation, the response to the charity event held at Hettinger High School was fantastic. “We raised nearly $6,000 on the night.

“It was absolutely outstanding. We had a report from the Hettinger School that there were 270 adults and 90 children who came through the door. That’s 365, but I figure that there were 60 little kid wrestlers – 30 from Bowman and Beach, and 30 from Hettinger-Scranton. There were about 40 high school wrestlers along with the coaches and staffs that were not even figured into the total.

“I am guessing that there was more than 450 people there,” he added. “We had a helluva packed house."

With the large turnout, making it annual event is something the charities are seriously looking at, Uecker said. “The Sunrise Foundation thought that the event was absolutely sensational. They are already talking about potentially hosting the event next year in Bowman when the Night Hawks come over to wrestle the BuccaDawgs in a dual format.

“They (the teams) normally alternate every year – one year in Bowman and in Hettinger the next.”

The wrestling battle featured the Bowman-Beach youth wrestling BuccaDawgs against the Hettinger-Scranton Night Hawks, with the high school rivals battling on the mat afterwards.

In addition the battles on the mat, the two charities also set up auctions for the people attending.

One of the most popular items that was up for bid was couch and sofa seating right on the edge of the mat, Uecker said. “Four BuccaDawg fans and four Night Hawk fans. We had two auctions for each. They could select two people with each winning bid to sit on the couches right next to the mat. We ended up raising $1,675 from the live auction, which we’re splitting half-and-half with the Sunrise Foundation and the West River Health Service Foundation.

Attendance was free at the event, which was underwritten by the two foundations.

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