Saturday, May 1, 2010
On Sunday, May 2, 11 teams will wrestle in yellow and green jello to raise money for the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation. The yearly event, called the "Reno Gannon Memorial Jello-O Wrestling Extravaganza and Benefit Auction" takes place at Tucson Electric Park, 2500 E. Ajo Way. Doors open at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20. Raffle prizes include a five-night stay at an ocean-front resort in Mexico.
Volunteer Dave Locke filled me in on the history of the event. It started 23 years ago by the late Reno Gannon, who was a bartender at the former Rumor Has It bar. The Jell-O was green, and was made by a 70-year-old woman on a single hot plate. It took her a week to make the gelatin. After the event, the Jello-O was discarded in the trash, creating a lot of green slime for the sanitation worker the next day.
These days, Locke says volunteers form an assembly line and make the jello in two hours. They recently filled 65 five-gallon containers. He says the Jello-O Wrestling committee receives one or two calls a month from cities around the country looking to put on their own wrestling event.
Locke says they have raised $226,000 over the years and hope to raise $75,000 each year going forward. Last year's total was $40,000. He says both straight and gay people wrestle. Drag queens host the event.
For more information, visit the Web site.