LIBERTY — As sports fans watched the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams play Sunday evening in the Super Bowl, they also helped raise funds for a local youth at a party at Master’s Bar and Grille on Trumbull Avenue.
A fundraiser at the bar benefited the Liberty schools wrestling program and the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots program, which provides gifts for children at Christmas.
Wrestling coaches Scott Husk and Ryan Williams organized the fundraiser, along with the boosters, who support Liberty wrestlers from second grade to high school seniors.
“We are the only wrestling program that doesn’t charge a registration fee. With money raised from the fundraising, the only thing the wrestlers have to take care of is their shoes. We sponsor everything else through the booster organization,” Husk said. “The kids get T-shirts, practice gear and head gear. The booster organization covers the costs for traveling to two-day tournaments for the buses, the hotels and meals. This helps provide an opportunity that the kids may never get,” Husk said.
A 50-50 raffle, block pool and other fundraisers took place at the event, with Master’s Bar and Grille donating all the food. Another fundraiser was the Shots for Tots, with money used to purchase bikes for the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots distribution at the holidays. One year before the pandemic, the business raised $30,000 to purchase 424 bikes.
Williams said fundraisers were held for the Ohio State vs. Michigan game in the fall, so it was decided to do something on Super Bowl Sunday, too.
“People like to watch the big games. The fundraising is a good reason to get together and watch a game while raising money for different organizations,” Husk said.
John Grachanin, owner of Master’s Bar and Grille with Dave Cordy, said he has known Husk and Williams all his life and wanted to help.
“They are big Liberty supporters and have always helped us with the concession stand during the tournaments,” Husk said.
Grachanin, of Campbell, said he and many others at the event were rooting for the Bengals, “the Ohio team.
“It’s a fun event for everyone no matter what team they want to win,” he said.
Williams, a Pittsburgh fan, said he was not rooting for Cincinnati but instead for his numbers to hit on the blocks. He is a former Liberty wrestler.
Husk said those attending make a donation or bought a block for the block pool to help raise funds.
“I am rooting for the Bengals because they are the Ohio team. Joe Burrow is an Ohio quarterback who still considers himself a Buckeye who you have to root for,” Husk said.
Monica Grachanin, who also was supporting the Bengals, said she likes the way the community comes together and supports numerous fundraising efforts.
She said her granddaughter, Jordyn Beach, 8, of Liberty, likes to watch the Super Bowl commercials and not necessarily the game.
Liberty resident Jim Morgan, who has two sons on their high school wrestling team, said the fundraising allows for any student who wants to be in wrestling the opportunity, regardless of their financial situation.
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