Wrestler's devotion to charity is more than skin deep

With the economy’s recent downward spiral, many families will not have quite the holiday this year that they would have hoped. But thanks to one generous Delawarean and a slew of wrestlers, many children will be able to celebrate the season.

Coastal Point • Ryan Saxton: Bill ‘the Southern Grizzly’ Porter at the Lewes tattoo shop Tough Luck Tattoo  getting a Toys for Tots tattoo by Kris Dilworth on his left arm. Right hand page, a close-up of the tattoo. Porter is organizing a wrestling event to be held in Lewes that willCoastal Point • Submitted
Bill ‘the Southern Grizzly’ Porter at the Lewes tattoo shop Tough Luck Tattoo getting a Toys for Tots tattoo by Kris Dilworth on his left arm. Porter is organizing a wrestling event to be held in Lewes that will

Bill Porter – better known as “the Southern Grizzly” – has made a name for himself over the past decade in the wrestling industry throughout Delaware and the Washington, D.C. suburbs and has recently formed the Southern Delaware Championship Wrestling (SDCW). Now, he’s turning his passion toward kids in need, teaming up with a wintertime match to benefit Toys for Tots.

“This is the first time anyone’s done anything like this,” said Porter this week, “and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for the foundation.”

The event, slated for 7 p.m. on Dec. 20 at the Lewes Fire Hall Substation on Route 1 in Nassau, Del., has received outstanding area recognition from businesses since sponsors were first sought out in early October. From flyers and tickets to monetary donations toward ring rental and a sound system, area companies are coming out of the woodwork to help out. Advertising space around the ring has even been purchased, also sending proceeds to the foundation.

Admission for the “Over the Top for Toys for Tots” Benefit Wrestling Show costs only $5, with proceeds going directly to the charity. Children 13 and younger will be admitted free with a new toy donation. Those who bring in a new bike will receive free admission for themselves and their immediate family.

“It’s amazing how many people are willing to help out after hearing about the show,” said Porter.

In all, 12 matches have been scheduled for the evening. Porter actually found himself whittling the numbers down after nearly 60 wrestlers had approached him with interest in the event.

“What a lot of people don’t even realize,” he noted, “is that these wrestlers are coming in on their own time and doing the show out of their own charity.”

Some of the more popular names in Delaware wrestling – including the Rockin’ Rebel, Massive Mike, Ashley Nicely, the Varsity Boys and E.L. Stanley – are planning to make an appearance at the event.

“Everyone wants to come out and help,” said Porter, “and we’re going to let them.”

“The Southern Grizzly” has even gone the extra mile to show his appreciation and dedication to giving back to the community, by way of art. Last week, he made a stop by Tough Luck Tattoo in Lewes and picked up a permanent reminder of the true spirit of giving. The tattoo on his arm depicts a cheerful Santa Clause sporting a wrestler’s mask, with “Toys for Tots” inscribed along the bottom.
Coastal Point • Submitted: A close-up of the tattoo.Coastal Point • Submitted
A close-up of the tattoo.

“There isn’t a kid in the world that doesn’t deserve to have toys on Christmas,” said Porter.

Kris Dilworth of Tough Luck Tattoo drew up the design for Porter and inked it on.

“We’ve done a lot of tattoos with sentiment behind them,” Dilworth noted, “but I’ve never seen someone this dedicated to an organization like Bill is. It’s great to be a part of this, and we’re fortunate that we have the chance to help someone really give back.”

Dilworth, a graduate of the Art Institute of Philadelphia with a degree in graphic design, worked as an art director before a tattoo apprenticeship was available. All of the shop’s custom work combines a taste of the artist’s touch while adhering to clients’ requests, and Porter’s was no exception.

Since his start in wrestling nearly 10 years ago, Porter – a Greenwood, Del., native – had wanted to expand on his own promotion. Now with the SDCW, he has the chance to do just that.

“It’s like we’re all a close-knit family,” he said. “The community has really come together for this.”

The Coastal Point will offer continuing coverage leading up to the Dec. 20 event. For more information about the SDCW’s Toys for Tots Benefit show, including advertising and donations to Toys for Tots, contact Bill Porter at (302) 645-9696. For additional information about Tough Luck Tattoo, call (302) 644-8001.