USA Wrestling

Dec 16 Drive and Night of Champions to celebrate the Olympic quest with a special day of golf and a banquet in Gladstone N J May 8

By Gary Abbott | Feb. 14, 2006, 8:46 a.m. (ET)
Hamilton Farm Golf Club to team with U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Wrestling to support Olympic dreams

The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) will celebrate the "Road to Beijing" with a special day for those who support the Olympic dream with The Drive and Night of Champions at the fabulous Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, N.J., May 8.

Proceeds from this event benefit USA Wrestling along with U.S. Olympic and Paralympic programs.

This day-long celebration of excellence will include two different activities, the Drive of Champions, which features a putting contest, brunch, round of championship golf and a cocktail reception during the day.

In the evening, the Night of Champions will feature and Awards Banquet, Roast and Auction, with celebrity guest Rulon Gardner, the 2000 Olympic gold medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling who shocked the sports world with his victory over previously unbeaten superstar and three-time Olympic champion Alexander Kareline of Russia in Sydney, Australia.

Hamilton Farm is a new private golf club situation on an elegant, historic country estate. The club was born in the spirit of the world's great golf courses, and is designed to set new standards for quality, service and enjoyment of the golf experience. Hamilton Farm Golf Club was selected to host the 2005 HSB Women's World Match Play Championships, which provides the highest check to the winner in the history of the LPGA.

Part of the Night of Champions celebration will be a Roast of two-time Olympic medalist Rulon Gardner by many of his friends and colleagues. In addition to his Olympic title, Gardner won a World gold medal in 2001, making him the only U.S. Greco-Roman wrestler with both a World and Olympic title. He survived an evening lost in the bitter cold of the Wyoming mountains in 2002, fighting for his life, and ultimately lost a toe to frostbite. After a long rehabilitation, Gardner returned to the mats and went on to win an Olympic bronze medal in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Rulon's coach, Olympic gold medalist Steve Fraser, who was America's first Greco-Roman Olympic champion in 1984, will participate in the Roast, as will USOC CEO Jim Scherr, a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic team. Award-winning actor William Baldwin, a former wrestler, will also be among the speakers. It is destined to be a tremendous night of fun, as Rulon's peers roast their friend for the amusement of all.

A special achievement award will be given to Jeff Buxton, the longtime head wrestling coach at Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J. Buxton has coached Blair for two decades, developing the nation's most successful high school wrestling program. Buxton's team has been declared national champions among high school teams numerous times, and many of his student-athletes have gone on to become champions and all-Americans in college. Buxton is active in the state association, New Jersey USA Wrestling, serving as a coach for the Cadet and Junior National Teams, and serving on its Coaches Council.

There are numerous partnership levels where corporations and individuals can participate in the Night and Drive of Champions, with gold, silver and bronze levels of support. In addition, there are opportunities for groups or individuals to only attend the Night of Champions and participate in the festivities that evening.

There is limited space in the golf tournament portion of the day, and those who are interested are encouraged to sign up right away.

For information on the Drive and Night of Champions, contact Larry Nugent of USA Wrestling at 719-598-8181 or via e-mail at lnugent@usawrestling.org or Steven John Jastrabek at 973-769-1135 or via e-mail at stevenjohnsalons@yahoo.com

This promises to be one of the most spectacular events held to celebrate the sport of wrestling and the Olympic movement, and all are encouraged to be a part of this historic day.
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