Sharing an email I just got from the museum...

July 2008
Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum
Flood update

On June 10, 2008, the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum suffered unimaginable damage during what has been labeled "The Flood of the Century." The entire downtown area of Waterloo was completely submerged and the museum was hit as hard as any business in the area. One clean up crew that had worked after the Katrina disaster said our business was as hard hit as any business he saw in New Orleans.

We estimate it could take as much as $400,000 to replace the walls, the carpeting, the furnishings, the phone system, and to build display units all around the building. The entire basement flooded to the ceiling and all the gift shop inventory (books, posters, videos, trading cards sets, apparel, etc.) were ruined. In addition, thousands of pieces of memorabilia and historical items were lost forever.

Our staff is convinced that the history of Mankind's Oldest Sport needs to be protected and showcased to ensure that wrestling has a future. We are committed to rebuilding this invaluable resource (the museum and its research center) but cannot do it without the help of the wrestling community.

The museum is a not-for-profit organization that takes its mission very seriously and is very frugal in the way it does business. However, the fact that we did not have flood insurance means that we have to secure grants and go to the wrestling community for support.

All donations will help with the restoration and preservation of the museum. Please feel free to call Kent Sesker at (319) 233-0745 or e-mail if you would like to contribute to restoring the museum.

Young wrestler gives his all for the Gable Museum
by Mary Stegmeir of the Waterloo Courier Boy gives savings to wrestling museum

CEDAR FALLS --- For the past two to three years, Brayden Wolf has been squirreling away his Christmas and birthday money, collecting cans and doing extra chores to save up for a four-wheeler.

But when the 7-year-old heard last month that the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum had been damaged by floodwaters, he decided to donate $50 to the organization's recovery efforts.

"I like Dan Gable," said Brayden, a youth wrestler who owns two instructional videos narrated by the Olympic gold medalist. "I heard my dad reading about the flood and I decided to do it."

For the rest of this story, click here.

To view a video on how the museum was affected by the flood, click here.
Flood washed away memorabilia, not my hope
by Mike Chapman, museum executive director Gable Museum hit by "Flood of the Century"

Some people in Iowa are calling it "The Flood of the Century" while others are calling it a once-in-a-thousand-years flood.

For me, it was the flood that wiped out much of the wrestling history I have accumulated over the past 40 years. Imagine seeing decades of hard and diligent work go spiraling down a huge drain.

That's what happened to me the second week of June during the Great Flood of 2008. It hit the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, like a runaway freight train - a freight train full of water!

To read the rest of this story, click here.

Save The Museum T-shirt offer

A very special tee shirt was created for the fundraising, and was a big hit over pro inductions weekend. The black shirt has the signature of Frank Gotch on the front, taken from a letter he wrote to his niece in 1917, with a small figure of Gotch with his hands on hips.

The back of the shirt has the following words:

"Wrestling teaches you how to get off your back. Old Man River put us on our back, but we're on our feet and fighting to survive."
--- Mike Chapman, 2008

The shirt was selling briskly at the inductions weekend. Anyone wishing to purchase one of these collector's items can do so for $20 plus $5 shipping and handling. We currently have sizes X-Large and XX-Large.
You can order by calling the museum at 319-233-0745 or by clicking here.

Our Price: $20
S & H: $5

Contact Information
phone: (319) 233-0745