Members of the Powell High School wrestling team shopped for, wrapped and delivered Christmas presents to six local families Tuesday night.
Head coach Nate Urbach said he started the annual “Wrestlers’ Christmas” after getting the idea from a colleague, who recalled how athletes at another school helped families in need during the holiday season. Since then, PHS wrestlers have been distributing the gifts for at least the last six or seven years, Urbach said.
Urbach said the goal is to help between 10 and 15 kids each year. This year, there were 11 children among the six families.
Money for the Christmas presents comes from a 50/50 raffle that the wrestling team’s parent support group conducts during PHS’ home opener wrestling tournament. Urbach said each member of the wrestling team usually donates between $10 and $15 apiece, too.
Families are chosen through an unnamed contact, who passes the necessary information to Urbach. Wrestlers are told the number of children, whether the kids are boys or girls and their ages.
The team is divided into groups, with one group per family. The wrestlers then shop for presents, using the information as guidelines for what to purchase. Once the presents are in hand, the team returns to the wrestling room to wrap the gifts.
This year, the team decided to also purchase a turkey for each family.
Before delivery, the wrestling team goes one step further to make a memorable Christmas for the families by having one member dress up as Santa Claus.
The Santa suit is borrowed from a local family, who’s had the suit since the 1950s or ’60s.
“It’s fun,” said Ty Dearcorn, a senior. “Love helping out.”