The doors of the high school gym open at 6 p.m. on April 21 and the bell rings at 7 p.m., Hasty said.
(Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. They may be purchased at the police department, online through Eventbrite or at the door the night of the event)
Christmas for Kids gives children who would otherwise not have the opportunity a chance to go on a shopping spree with law enforcement, firefighters, Citizens on Patrol and other volunteers.
Usually those taken on the shopping spree think of others before themselves, Hasty said. “It’s just seeing the kids care more about their families. They’re always looking out for their family members first and them second.”
Last year nearly 30 children went on the shopping trip to Walmart. This year, Hasty said, “I would love to take 50. It all depends on the funding.”
Wrestling is a new twist to fundraising for the event. “Northeast Academy had success with their fundraisers.”
Hasty is also in discussions with Tracy Story about a possible extreme Spartan-style race to raise funds for the event and there will most likely be one of the more traditional fundraisers such as a plate sale or raffle held.
The spirit behind next week’s RAGE event, Hasty said, is not only for a family friendly night out, but a chance to hear testimonials from promoter Charles Jones and others as the organization is Christian-based.
“The goal is to open the avenue of the message of Jesus Christ,” Jones, who wrestled professionally himself, said Monday.
All the profits earned from the event next week will go to Christmas for Kids, Jones said.
Jones accepted Christ in 2003. He wrestled in major regional professional events from 1999 to 2003 as The Great Caesar. “I had a severe spinal cord injury from a botched move.”
He wrestled in 300 matches and a trunk or treat event at Higher Ground Church in Ahoskie where he displayed his wrestling hardware began a road to RAGE. “I saw the direction wrestling was taking. I got out in 2003 until I saw the opportunity pro wrestling could have. I felt God speaking to my heart. I spent a lot of time in prayer trying to push that off.”
Instead of casting aside the notion wrestling could be used to deliver a Christian message, Jones created RAGE. “We’ve been blessed and are looking to expand.”
There will be a double main event next week featuring RAGE World Champion, the Tongan giant Asaafi, against the Pain Train Preston Quinn in a no points winner-take-all rematch.
Asaafi’s uncle is The Barbarian and Quinn has wrestled in WWE, Impact and Ring of Honor, Jones said.
The events are entertaining, said Jones. “I assure you they will enjoy it more than WWE events. We make it fan friendly and make them accessible before and after the event and at intermission.”
There will be a total of five matches including one of two premier tag teams. “We’re trying to pull out all the stops for our debut in Roanoke Rapids.”
Jones has shared with the wrestlers what Christmas for Kids is about. “If it weren’t for the program a lot wouldn’t have a Christmas.”
Even the wrestlers who aren’t believers, Jones said, “They get behind the program and get behind what we are doing.”