WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Tremont seniors Cooper and Lucas Wendling weren’t sure what to expect.
The twin brothers wanted to raise money to help kids fight cancer. So they gave up a Saturday and put together a youth wrestling clinic to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
To their delights, a full house of young wrestlers showed up to the gym in Washington to learn tips from the high school wrestling standouts.
“Even if there were only two kids it would be a success,” said Cooper Wendling. “It’s money towards St. Jude, no matter what. It’s great to have a full room.”
The brothers are state-qualifying wrestlers who ran in the St. Jude run last summer. They ran to support Aidan Williams, the son of their wrestling coach, TJ Williams.
Aidan, 11, was diagnosed with leukemia a couple years ago and had his last chemotherapy treatment last summer. The Wendlings thought a one-day clinic could be a next-step fundraiser.
“These kids are learning, they are hungry to learn. It’s awesome to give back to little kids,
” said Lucas Wendling. “There were people showing me and Coop how to wrestle at this age.”
After the success of last Saturday’s wrestling camp, the brothers are gearing up to participate in another St. Jude run this summer. And they are already looking at growing this youth clinic.
“I think we’re going to do this yearly,” said Lucas Wendling about the clinic which draw 24 campers in its first year. “I think we can make it bigger every year.”
“I think we’ve had a lot of success with this,” Cooper Wendling said. “It could definitely be something we do in the future. Try and expand it and make it bigger.”