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USA Wrestling For Peace captures hearts in Idaho, as Greco team hosts kids fighting cancer and visit a women/children’s shelter

By Patrick Bennett, USA Wrestling For Peace Program Manager | Feb. 11, 2018, 12:51 p.m. (ET)

KIVI-TV report: Olympic Greco hopefuls inspire Camp Rainbow Gold campers

Top Photo: Two-time Olympian Ben Provisor, World Team member Pat Smith and Armed Forces silver medalist John Stefanowicz visit with kids at City Light.
Bottom Photo: The USA and Serbian Greco-Roman National Teams welcome kids and families from Camp Rainbow Gold to their Saturday practice. (Photos courtesy of USAW4P)

USA Wrestling For Peace (USAW4P) made a direct impact on the community in Boise, Idaho, not once, but twice on Saturday, February 10.

In the first of two engagements, USAW4P joined forces with Camp Rainbow Gold (CRG) to host six families at the Suples Ltd. Training Facility in Boise, Idaho. The families received invitations to an exclusive event which granted them access to the final practice before the U.S. Greco-Roman National Team took on the Serbian National Team.

Camp Rainbow Gold is a 501c3 nonprofit Oncology Camp based in Boise, Idaho, and its mission is to provide emotionally empowering experiences to Idaho’s children diagnosed with cancer and their families.

Following the practice, the team had the opportunity and privilege to meet kids who have been cancer-stricken. With markers in hand, the wrestlers introduced themselves to the children and their families. The families began to share their stories of both heartache and joy.

On one hand, the kids were absolutely excited and in awe to meet some of their heroes, while on the other hand, the wrestlers and coaches were able to reflect and put their careers in perspective. There was a palpable synergy in the wrestling room that was created and sustained throughout the autograph session. Following the meet and greet, families received tickets to the dual between the two national teams which is set for Bishop Kelley High School on Sunday.

USA Wrestling for Peace continued its goodwill by visiting City Light, a shelter for women and children that have been affected by homelessness or succumbed to addiction which have left them vulnerable.

USA Wrestling for Peace Ambassador Dan Russell, led a team of four U.S. National Team wrestlers consisting two-time Olympian Ben Provisor, three-time Pan-American Champion Pat Smith, two-time University National Champion Hayden Zillmer, and Armed Forces Silver Medalist and United States Marine John Stefanowicz.

As the women and children poured into the shelter, they were treated to a hearty spaghetti dinner. The wrestlers engaged them in personal conversations in an effort to let them know that they are not alone or forgotten. Simply put, the experience was uplifting for all involved.

City Light’s Guest Service Manager Tammy Vergara thanked USA Wrestling and its representatives for their generosity and willingness to visit the shelter as they received a heartfelt applause from those in attendance.

Life is hard and we all have wrestled with things in our lives; wrestling on the mat parallels with our struggles off the mat. USA Wrestling stands resolute to connect local, national, and international communities through wrestling by meeting challenges, and overcoming adversity, and building relationships.