State Wrestlers Lend a Hand at Hope Harbor

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- Wrestlers selected for Saturday's all-star dual took some time out of their practice schedules to volunteer their time at organizations in Grand Island Friday morning.

The wrestlers split up into three groups to help Hope Harbor, Friendship House and the YWCA accomplish cleaning and housekeeping tasks.

Wrestlers picked up food collected from 1011's Can Caravan fundraiser and brought it to Hope Harbor. They also organized a garage, changed air filters, picked up sticks and repaired bunk beds.

Hope Harbor Service Coordinator Deb Schnell said the wrestlers exceeded her expectations. She said the wrestlers accomplished more work in three hours than the staff could have finished in an entire week.

"We really appreciate the volunteers, the groups that come in," Schnell said. "We only have a staff of eight and we just don't have that. We get a lot of donations in, we have a generous community, and those groups that come in really help us out and help, in the end, the people that come in for our services."

Ray Maxwell is the wrestling coach at West Point-Beemer High School and is helping coach the all-star dual. He said community service teaches the wrestlers important life lessons.

"It just opens up their eyes," said Maxwell. "A lot of people somewhat live a privileged life, and especially high school where you don't have to have a lot of life struggles. This gets to open their eyes a little bit to people who have had some down and out troubles."

Jacob Pfeifer and John Porter are both competing in Saturday's all-star dual and said the experience to work at Hope Harbor was a rewarding one.

"It was pretty fun, you know, helping the community" said Pfeifer. "They're nice people and we just thought we'd pitch in and give a little help."

"It just makes me feel good that I can go out and help the community and just like, I'm not getting paid for it, I'm just doing it out of my own time," Porter added.

The wrestlers will compete in the all-star dual Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Grand Island Senior High School.