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Under the Lights Entertainment Teams Up with Wausaukee Enterprises

Issue Date: August 23, 2018

The relationship between Wausaukee Enterprises and pro wrestling started in 2011 with Summer Showcase. Since then, many big stars have come to Wausaukee. The first year the special guest star was 3 time WWE tag team champion, Smash of Demolition. Other stars that have come were Former WWE and TNA Impact Wrestling star, Jay Bradley; former WWE star Zach Gowen; WWE United States Champion, WWE Money In The Bank winner, and two time TNA Impact World Champion Ken Anderson (known in WWE as Mr. Kennedy from Green Bay, WI), and others have come to Wausaukee to help out Wausaukee Enterprises.

No matter the name of the pro wrestling organization, Ryan "Bruno" Leisman has been the driving force behind this annual fundraiser. He is the owner of Under The Lights Entertainment (UTL). UTL was established in 2014 and has been hosting Summer Showcase since then. This event has been at the fairgrounds, Wausaukee School, and this year at Steve Stumbris Memorial Field, just east of the county fairgrounds. No matter the location, Summer Showcase has always been the hottest event of the summer.

It's an event that many people look forward to each year, as it brings the community closer together, but it wouldn't be around without support from the community and some of its businesses. Year after year, Chippewa Bar, Wausaukee Lumber, and A&M Heating and Cooling, have all been major financial contributors to this event. Without them, this event couldn't have survived. Rich of Antiques & Things in Crivitz and Decor Products have also regularly donated financially, along with a few others. Bay Cities Multi Media and the Peshtigo Times have also been a major contributor of these events.

Throughout the years, thousands of dollars have been raised for Wausaukee Enterprises. We get questions such as why Wausaukee Enterprises, or who is Wausaukee Enterprises? Well up until 2011, Leisman had never heard of Wausaukee Enterprises. It all started while he was having a conversation with Scott and Janine, the owners of the Chippewa Bar. Leisman was looking for a deserving organization to work with in the area and they suggested Wausaukee Enterprises. Leisman stopped in and met with Bob Beltrame, the organization's Director. Bob filled Leisman in on the mission of their organization. The Mission at Wausaukee Enterprises Inc. is to provide work experience, life skills training, and support services that maximize individual potential for persons with disabilities and other barriers to enable them to achieve greater independence and become valued members of the community. Wausaukee Enterprises is a non-profit organization that serves intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals through a contract workshop program, day services program and Wausaukee Enterprises' We Store thrift shop in Wausaukee.

Wausaukee Enterprises currently have 41 individuals from Marinette County and surrounding areas participating in its life skills and vocational training programs. They have been based in the community for almost 50 years. After meeting with Bob, Leisman could tell he had a heart of gold and that we shared the same concepts of what this event should be about. Leisman knew this was the right organization to work with.

Earlier this year, Bob retired after 40 years with Wausaukee Enterprises. Sad as it was Leisman stated he is not to be able to work Bob anymore on this annual event. Leisman added he is looking forward to getting to know and working with Wausaukee Enterprises' new Director, Steven Tadisch.

Through the relationship with Wausaukee Enterprises, Leisman was able to meet one of their clients, Chaise Meyers. The past couple years, Leisman became good friends with Chaise and his mother, Traci. Chaise is a huge wrestling fan. Through Summer Showcase and some of the other UTL events, he has been able to meet some of the heroes he's watched on TV for many years. Just over a year ago, he got the opportunity to help out with setting up the wrestling ring before the annual event at Copperfest in Oconto. He absolutely loved it and tries to help out at as many events as he can. This year, he's even helped out with looking for sponsors and raffle items for this Sunday's Summer Showcase event.

His mother, Traci stated that words cannot express how much it means to Chaise to be a part of something like this. She sees how much his face lights up with excitement and thanks me for including him. Chaise is a blast to have around and always puts a smile on your face. He's a prime example of why I do these events year after year.

This year the 8th Annual Summer Showcase event will be on Sunday, Aug. 26th at Steve Stumbris Memorial Field in Wausaukee (the baseball field just east of the fairgrounds). The event starts at 2 pm, but feel free to stop by early as the event opens up at 1 pm with UTL Pro Wrestling stars present to sign autographs and take pictures with fans. This year they are trying some new concepts, one beingfree admission.

Donations will be accepted at the event, in lieu of an admission fee, if you wish to do so. The Summer Showcase also works with the Wausaukee Recreation Association, who will be selling food, soda, beer, and other concession items at the event. There will be raffles with proceeds also going to Wausaukee Enterprises. They are still looking raffle items, so if one would like to donate an item, email Bruno at leisman62@gmail.com or call him at (920) 676-6943. Any donations are greatly appreciated as there are many costs that add up to hold this event. Leisman invites the public to join them for this annual event. Feel free to bring lawn chairs as limited bleacher seating is available. Parking is available on the east side of the ball field.


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