HopeMania

Wrestler KMJ performs a slam on the "Mexican Werewolf" El Chupacabra as referee Sparkey Ballard watches in the background at the Saint John Vianney Community center in San Jose on Feb. 28, 2014.

The world of wrestling and charity have collided to bring entertainment to the Patterson community and raise money and awareness for rare genetic diseases. The event, titled HopeMania, will take place in the Walnut Grove Community Gym, 775 North Hartley St., at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 14.

Tickets will run adults $10, children $5, and will be available at the door the day of the event.

HopeMania is named in honor of Hope Hailey Haugh, the six-month-old daughter of Newman residents Robert and Nerissa Haugh who was born with a rare genetic disorder called 2q37.3 deletion syndrome. The word “hope” is also a common motto used in the genetic disorder community, making it a more-than-fitting name for the charity event.

2q37.3 deletion syndrome is caused when an individual is missing genetic material from a specific region of chromosome two, according to the Genetics Home Reference.

Symptoms vary, but children born with deletion syndrome often show signs of weak muscle tone in infancy, mild to severe intellectual disability, developmental delay and other physical abnormalities. The disease is so rare that only roughly 100 cases have been reported worldwide.

Hope’s symptoms, which have included seizures and apneic episodes in which she would stop breathing, first started appearing when she was just a few weeks old, said Robert Haugh.

The organization the Haughs found the most support from while searching and testing for a diagnosis of Hope’s disease was the Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based non-profit Global Genes.

Robert Haugh manages the not-for-profit Wrestling for Charity, which is hosting HopeMania to give back to Global Genes.

The Haugh family previously resided in the Silicon Valley before the rising cost of living forced them to search for a more accommodating place to live. They picked the Central Valley and now reside in Newman. The family wanted to bring their wrestling tradition with them and chose Patterson as the site.

“We have been doing these pro wrestling fundraisers for several years in the South Bay Area (San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale), and thought it would be great to bring our family-friendly events to the Patterson area,” Robert Haugh said. “All of our events benefit organizations we want to give back to. We chose Global Genes because they have proven to be one of the most resourceful organizations regarding news on and for the rare disease community.”

Global Genes is a non-profit organization that promotes the needs of the rare disease community. Their mission is to eliminate the challenges of rare diseases by building awareness, educating the global community, and providing critical connections and resources that equip patients and their families to become activists for the rare disease that has affected them, according to managing editor Ilana Jacqueline.

Haugh explained that 100 percent of all proceeds will be donated to Global Genes. He hopes to raise at least $1,000 and mentioned that anybody interested in donating directly to the organization can bring to the event checks payable to Global Genes.

“We feel giving back is very important, and our sole purpose in our events is in trying to give back,” Robert Haugh said.

In addition to helping raise awareness and money for the genetic disorder community, patrons will enjoy a quality wrestling event that promises to offer up-close, engaging and family-friendly entertainment.

The usual aspects of body slams, pile drivers, clotheslines, high-flying maneuvers, punches and the occasional trash-talking will echo in the walls of the Walnut Grove Gym, giving fans of all ages something to cheer and jeer about.

Known for his loudmouth routine, former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star manager and ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez will bring his personality to the event.

Local Central Valley wrestlers will also make an appearance, including Turlock’s “El Pistolero” Julio Pedroza, who will be one of the biggest villains of the show. He will captain a team of three named “Los Anti-Freaks” against a group called “The Freaks,” which will include Wrestling for Charity (WFC) champion Jeckles, Jinxx and Insane-O.

Pedroza’s “Los Anti-Freaks” will be managed by “The Cold One” AC.

The event will also include a women’s match featuring “The Fallen Flower” Kikyo Nakamura and Kimmy Shellhammer.

Other notable wrestlers that will appear include Lucha Libre icon Chicano Flame, former Olympic wrestler “Mr. Athletic” Jeff Cobb, “The Metalhead Maniac” Sledge, “Wrestling Personified” Rik Luxury, Vinny Massaro, and much more.

Those wrestling fanatics looking for a good, old-fashioned battle royal will be thrilled to know that on the card is a 20-person, over-the-top rope match. The wrestlers will enter the ring and engage in a wild grappling melee that will not end until the last person is thrown out of the ring over the top rope, leaving one wrestler standing above all as the winner.

For more information on Sunday’s event, visit the HopeMania Facebook page. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at wfcwrestling.com. Those interested in contacting the organization can email wrestling4charity@gmail.com for information on future events.

Erick Torres can be reached at 892-6187 ext. 308 or erick@pattersonirrigator.com.

PI sports writer

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.