Wrestling benefit WPSD continues to grow, prosper

Posted by WPSDAA on Apr 30, 2012 in News

By Keith Barnes
McKeesport Daily News

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lord Zoltan, aka Ken Jugan, will run the Deaf Wrestlefest this weekend.

Glassport native Ken Jugan got his start in studio wrestling as a boy when he attended his first match at the McKeesport Palisades.

Now a longtime regional wrestling veteran and a member of the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance, the 54-year-old continues to use his talents in the ring to help an organization close to his heart.

On Sunday, Jugan will once again host the 10-match Deaf Wrestlefest at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Edgewood. It is a fundraiser he first helped organize back in 1994 and, with just a few exceptions, has been a popular annual event for many years.

His motivation to raise money for the school came from his own home. His sons — Adam 22, and Blaise, 19 — are deaf and got their educations at the WPSD.

Adam graduated with a technical diploma, while Blaise opted against getting his diploma last year to attend one more year to learn a trade.

“We tried it back in 1994 and we’ve been doing it ever since,” Jugan said. “I had wrestled myself and had been on some of the earlier shows, but it had gotten to be such a big event that I pulled back and let some of the younger guys and the bigger names come in.”

This year some of the legends of wrestling entertainment will make their way out to help raise money for the school, including Pittsburgh’s own Bruno Sammartino, 2012 Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee Dominic DeNucci and former WWE performer Zach Gowen. Though Deaf Wrestlefest started in 1994, this will only be the fourth year the event will take place after lengthy hiatus because of negative parental reaction to televised wrestling.

“There was a lot of violence in the WWE and the attitude and got a little vulgar, and a lot of the parents thought that the kids were imitating what they were seeing on television even though our event was G-rated,” Jugan said. “We call it a night of family fun, food and entertainment and try to give it more of a carnival atmosphere than what that kind of wrestling was in that brief spell.”

Getting top names to make their way back was never a challenge for Jugan, who was on the local circuits for many years and got to know some of the best in the craft. “Over the years we’ve tried to bring in some of the best local people and diversify the talent a little bit in the 10 matches,” Jugan said. “A lot of them volunteer to help out the school and … a lot of the parents use this as a social event to come in and spend time with the kids.”

Source: TribLIVE

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