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    Legends gather to support Beat the Streets

    NEW YORK -- On April 30, 2009 Beat the Streets Wrestling Program will host its annual gala fundraiser "Golden Night at Guastavino's" in New York City to help continue the organization's work in providing approximately 3,500 boys and girls wrestling opportunities and safe havens for them to practice. In addition, New York City wrestling coaches will be named High School Coach of the Year, Assistant Coach of the Year and Middle School Coach of the Year at the Gala.

    Gathering to show their support for Beat the Streets are wrestling legends Bruce Baumgartner, four-time Olympic wrestling medalist, National Wrestling Hall of Fame and U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame member and Director of Athletics at Edinboro University; Henry Cejudo, 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist; Brandon Slay, 2000 Olympic Gold medalist; and John Smith, Olympic and World Championship Medal Winner.

    "Beat the Streets is proud to bring together the wrestling community, not just in New York City but the world, to help encourage and support New York City girls and boys' efforts to participate in the sport of wrestling," said Brian Giffin, President and Executive Director of Beat the Streets. "Because of Beat the Streets, thousands of children are instilled with important values such as perseverance, discipline and self reliance, which they will carry with them throughout their lives. We would like to thank Bruce Baumgartner, Henry Cejudo, Brandon Slay and John Smith for showing their support for Beat the Streets' work."

    "The success of Beat the Streets Wrestling Program in New York City is a true testament to the organization, which has dedicated itself to not only teaching children about the sport of wrestling, but also shaping young minds and preparing them for whatever challenges may come their way, whether it be on the mat or in the class room," said Bruce Baumgartner.

    The Beat the Streets Wrestling Program is a not-for-profit organization that creates opportunities for boys and girls from New York City schools to participate in after-school wrestling programs in safe and nurturing environments. Beat the Streets provides free coaching, gear and equipment; free access to afterschool training centers in all five boroughs; all-expenses paid trips to the most prestigious training camps in the country; and safe havens for students from the poorest urban neighborhoods seeking to improve their fitness and stay on the right path.

    Approximately 3,500 boys and girls from New York City schools currently participate in the organization's afterschool programs. Beat the Streets' work has effectively helped the sport of wrestling grow in New York City. In 2005, New York City's Public School Athletic League had 23 teams only in high schools and fewer than 300 kids enrolled. Now New York City has wrestling teams in 58 high schools and 54 middle schools with 3,500 enrollees.

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