Ladies Taking Charity Fundraising into Their Own Hands…Er, Arms
First, we had roller derby. Now, another group of women in town are coming up with alter egos, assembling their entourages and preparing to go head to head (or, in this case, arm to arm) to crown a champion. This time, it’s all for charity.
On Thursday, October 4th, eight Austin women will arm wrestle their way to fame at Bar 96 on Rainey Street while they raise a fortune for WeViva, a local nonprofit which provides free fitness and nutrition classes in low-income areas. Doors open at 8:00pm and wrestling will get underway at 9:00pm.
CLAWstin is a part of the Collective of Lady Arm Wrestlers, a nationwide movement of women combining sport and pageantry to benefit their communities. The movement got its start in Charlottesville, Virginia in early 2008 and has now spread to 18 cities.
This is the third event planned by Austinites Beth Taylor and Jen Murrill. According to Beth, five of the wrestlers will be returning — two from the original event and three from the second. When deciding on a beneficiary for each event, Beth and Jen look for local organizations with no paid fundraising employees. “We look for real ‘grassroots’ organizations that can really benefit from our targeted $5,000,” Beth explained.
One of the new wrestlers participating in CLAWstin 3 is Heidi Okla, web producer-turned-mama to three boys. Heidi had heard about CLAW for years through her friend Miller Time, who is part of the Charlottesville league and from a college friend, Billy Hunt, who is working on a documentary about women’s arm wrestling.
“At the last event, I just kept thinking how I wanted to jump into a costume and join right in,” remembers Heidi, who went to cheer on friend and fellow neighborhood mom Gina Tonic. “When I heard that there was room for a few new wrestlers, I had to do it”.
Heidi will shed her mild-mannered persona as she transforms into Twisted Sistah for CLAWstin 3, complete with a five-member crew of bandmates. Her Twisted Sistah bio reads like a tribute to the hair bands of the 80s, and she hopes to distract her opponents with her long, frizzy, golden locks. What she may lack in arm strength, Twisted Sistah plans to make up in attitude. “I love the idea of getting to be an over-the-top persona for just one night, with no rehearsal schedule to compete with everyday mom duties,” Heidi added. “I was also really drawn to being a part of this amazing group of ladies, all coming together to support local charities that focus on the needs of women.”
To support Twisted Sistah and the other CLAWstin participants, RSVP and to receive updates on the event, you can check out the CLAWstin 3 Facebook page.