While the CAC does not make political statements nor do we endorse or censure any current or past promoters way of doing business, one thing that we can all agree on is that, for many of our retired stars, their lots in life have not been kind. Wrestling has, over the years, come to be a somewhat more kind and sympathetic sport to its performers, but, by no means is it on the level with other sports.
Remember, up until recently, there was no such thing as a guaranteed contract in this business. Wrestlers either worked or didn’t get paid. This means that many of those who worked so hard for our enjoyment had to wrestle through injuries, sometimes serious ones, in order to feed their families. Attending a CAC reunion, you will hear story after story about the boys having pulled muscles, strained ligaments, sometimes even fractured bones and still having to go to the next town. You will notice the pronounced limps, degenerative arthritis and general difficulty getting around that many have.
Of course, since wrestlers were then and still are now considered to be independent contractors, there was no group medical insurance to count on in the case of injury and there certainly was no workers compensation to be relied upon. There also has never been a union in wrestling to look out for the interests of those involved and provide a pension or some form of retirement income for them.
I know, I know; you’re asking why all of this doom and gloom when most of us are just a part of CAC to have fun? To introduce you to the CAC Benevolent Fund and to provide a reminder of the real reason the Cauliflower Alley Club exists.
Several of our members have heard about the CAC Benevolent Fund and some may have even known wrestlers or others that the fund has helped. The fund was started over 14 years ago at the direction of former President, Lou Thesz, with an original donation of $2,000 from the estate of Mike Mazurki. Over these past 14 years, the benevolent fund has distributed grants totaling over $40,000 to retired wrestlers, managers, referees and others associated with the wrestling business who have been in need.
Some examples of Benevolent Fund grants have included helping a retired performer with rent payments after major surgery, assisting with purchasing a wheelchair accessible van for another retiree, offering financial aid for daily living needs after an amputation and providing a former worker with money for reestablishment after organ transplant.
The CAC Benevolent Fund exists to help those who have been verifiably involved in the professional wrestling business. CAC membership is not a requirement, although it may help us determine need. If you know of somebody who you believe is in need of assistance through the CAC Benevolent Fund, please contact Karl Lauer at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to apply for a Benevolent Fund grant.
If you would like to download a request form please CLICK HERE
Mail or Fax request form to:
Cauliflower Alley Club
383 Highway 00
Rolla, MO 65401