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Superintendent ready to rumble for the schools

Staff Writer
Posted on 8/31/2016, 10:21 AM

Superintendent Michael Gauch will go to the mat for his students.

If that seems like hyperbole, the Harrisburg Unit District 3 leader will prove it — on Oct. 15, when he climbs into the ring with three Hall of Fame professional wrestlers and attempts to keep body and soul together for the next 20 or so minutes.

Gauch"s reward? He"s hoping for a healthy pot of money to distribute among Harrisburg schools to buy classroom supplies.

"For the past few years we haven"t been able to budget for anything (teachers) need in their classrooms," Gauch said Tuesday, adding his teachers frequently spend their own money on supplies.

The wrestling fundraiser, to be held in Davenport Gym at Harrisburg High School, was Gauch"s idea. He hooked up with USA Championship Wrestling, in Nashville, Tennessee, which offers to host wrestling fundraisers and split the profit 50/50.

Gauch is confident the night can raise $5,000 to $10,000 for his teachers, enough to give each elementary school at least $1,500. "It may mean I"m in traction for six months but at least they"ll have supplies," he deadpanned.

The evening will feature several matches between USA"s stable of professional wrestlers, all of them WWE eligible and several of them Hall of Famers. When Gauch gets in the ring it"ll be for a tag team match — The Superintendent and The Honkytonk Man versus Carlito and Jimmy Hart, aka "The Mouth of the South."

Gauch and Honkytonk Man will wear Elvis jumpsuits (Gauch bought his costume).

Gauch has never wrestled before, not in high school or anywhere. To prepare for this he had to agree to three nights of "bump training" with USA trainers — "basically, you learn how to fall," he says.

General admission is $10; $15 tickets guarantee ringside seating and a $25 VIP ticket puts you in the first two rows of seats and gets you a meet and greet with the pros.

Tickets are on sale now, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays at the District 3 offices, 40 S. Main St., Harrisburg. Any tickets not sold in advance will be available at the door Oct. 15.

The Harrisburg schools are also grateful to accept donated supplies. To donate, check the school supplies list at Wal-Mart.

Meanwhile, Gauch is preparing to follow through with whatever the script calls for, and give the audience a good show.

"I"m hoping everybody will get into it," he said.