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Posted: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 12:00 am

Tara Dale and Shane Ramey hope to come to grips with decreased funding for Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School’s science club with the help of Doink the Clown and Awesome Andy.

No, they’re not scientists or philanthropists. They’re wrestlers.

As funding continues to decrease for enrichment classes in schools, such as the science club, teachers are getting creative in their fundraising efforts.

Dale, a seventh-grade teacher in the Kyrene School District, has teamed up with Ramey, a parent, in organizing a professional wrestling event to benefit Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School’s science club.

Wrestling and science may not seem to have much in common, but when Ramey heard the science club his daughter participates in needed materials for science experiments, he realized that a wrestling event could raise a significant amount of cash for the club.

“It’s a family-friendly show, and there is no extreme violence,” Ramey said. “It will be action packed with big wrestling names.”

Ramey has been involved with wrestling for five years, and he is putting on the show in conjunction with Pro Wrestling Arizona. Besides Doink and Andy, wrestlers scheduled to appear include the Largeador Michael Faith, “The Feature Presentation” Jay Garland, Erica D’Erico, Kyra Maya, GQ Gallo and Jon Heidenreich among others.

“People in the Ahwatukee area don’t get this opportunity to sit up close to watch big name wrestlers very often,” said Ramey, who is a wrestler.

Dale already has received interest in the event, which will be Friday, Jan. 29, in the school gym.

“I didn’t know how big wrestling was before this event, but I received a note in my mailbox from a man in California who had heard about the event and wanted to send me a trade card with one of the wrestlers and get it signed for him,” Dale said.

Currently the science club is free for all students, and Dale hopes that the wrestling fundraiser will enable KSD to continue the club at no cost to students.

“If we make money at the wrestling event, we can keep it a free club for every student to join regardless of their economic status,” Dale said. “We want all students to have the opportunity to experience hands-on science and get excited about it.”

Akimel’s science club is led by several teachers at the school, and the club has 40 student members from all grade levels. Dale said she hopes the event will be well attended, and she appreciates the generosity of Ramey and the other wrestlers involved in the event.

“In these financial times, people have had to take care of themselves first, but here this man is putting his company out on a limb,” she said. “We appreciate his generosity.”

Doors will open for the event at 5:30 p.m. this Friday, Jan. 29, and tickets cost $15. To buy tickets, contact Dale at (480) 783-1631 or e-mail her at tdale@kyrene.org. Cash and checks made out to AMS will be accepted.

For more information on the wrestlers participating in the event, visit www.prowrestlingaz.com. Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School is at 2720 E. Liberty Lane.

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