Wrestlers Raise Over $7K for Autism Organization

In East Haven wrestlers raised money for an autism organization and it comes after the group says it was left empty handed following a supposed fundraiser in April.

From big slams to the excited fans, the “Ring of Dreams” took over the East Haven Veterans Memorial Hockey Rink on Sunday.

And it raised at least $7,500 for Autism Services & Resources Connecticut.

“Today is about righting the wrong,” Mario Mancini, co-owner of Paradise Alley Professional Wrestling, said.

As the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters reported, the autism organization was supposed to be the beneficiary of a wrestling event in April run by James Raymond. The group says it was promised thousands of dollars but it didn’t receive a cent.

“I think it’s about us having hope and about keeping advocacy strong and moving forward and trying to make the best out of a bad situation,” Leslie Simoes, co-director of Autisms Services & Resources Connecticut, said.

On Friday Raymond was arrested for issuing a bad check in connection with his wrestling event.

In a previous statement to NBC Connecticut, Raymond wrote as a father of an autistic daughter he only wanted to bring awareness and raise money for charity.

But he says the event bills spiraled out of control.

Raymond wrote, “With all the costs of the event though we ended up having no net proceeds to donate.”

On Sunday fortunes changed for Autism Services & Resources Connecticut.

And those working the show included people on the autism spectrum.

“It’s important because, you know, it’s like to show people, hey you can do anything,” Charles Fuller Jr. of Bridgeport, said.

James Raymond was released on a promise to appear from East Haven Police.

He said he would provide a new statement but NBC Connecticut has not received one yet.

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