A suburban Chicago varsity wrestling squad had its competitive gear and a number of personal items robbed while dining at an Applebee’s outside of St. Louis following a holiday tournament.
As reported by NBC Chicago affiliate WMAQ, among other outlets, the South Elgin varsity wrestling team was returning from the Granite City Holiday Tournament outside St. Louis when it decided to stop for a bite to eat at Applebee’s. The team’s van, including all it’s new gear and a variety of personal items — many holiday presents from just days earlier — was broken into and robbed as the student athletes dined inside.
“At first we thought it was a prank by one of the coaches,” South Elgin junior wrestler Bobby Tornabene told WMAQ. “Then we realized it wasn’t a joke.”
To replace the stolen gear, parents of the South Elgin program started a GoFundMe drive to raise money for replacements, with a goal of $5,500. It had surpassed that total by Tuesday evening, with a total of $5,895 in hand thanks to gracious donors.
That, at least, put a positive spin on an otherwise sordid holiday tale. Needless to say, the South Elgin program will be thrilled when it has all its gear back in hand, and on the mat.