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Your Time: Women’s arm wrestling fundraiser

  • Courtney Hall as Lady Liberty, left, Heather Beck as Uncle Slam —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zoe Abram as The Beast Infection, from left, Maida Ives as Judge Ruth Maida Ginsberg, Carley McKee as The Bush Hog —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zoe Abram as The Beast Infection —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Cleo Abram, from left, Will Van Heuvelen, Pete McLean, Susan Pincus —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amy Calandrella as Rosie the Wrecker, left, Heather Beck as Uncle Slam —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Margaret Fitzgerald, left, Amy Calandrella as Rosie the Wrecker —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • 1. Katie Richardson, Rachel Keenan Roberts, Courtney Hall as Lady Liberty 2. Zoe Abram as The Beast Infection, Maida Ives as judge, Ruth Maida Ginsberg, Carley McKee as The Bush Hog 3. Margaret Fitzgerald, Amy Calandrella as Rosie the Wrecker4. Dorothy Reed 5. Emily Starck as Snail, Maida Ives as judge, Ruth Maida Ginsberg, Rachel Redd as The Redd Hammer 6. Cleo Abram, Will Van Heuvelen, Pete McLean, Susan Pincus 7. Emily Starck as Snail, Jen Putnam 8. Jesse Morrisey as Iron Goddess 9. Zoe Abram Cover: Amy Calandrella, Heather Beck as Uncle Slam

  • Jesse Morrisey as Iron Goddess, left, Margaret Byrne as ThunderRita —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Emily Starck as Snail, from left, Maida Ives as Judge Ruth Maida Ginsberg, Rachel Redd as The Redd Hammer —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Marykate Smith Despres, right —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Front, from left: Maida Ives as Judge Ruth Maida Ginsberg, Carley McKee as The Bush Hog, Amy Calandrella as Rosie the Wrecker —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Jesse Morrisey as Iron Goddess —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Dorothy Reed —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zoe Abram as The Beast Infection —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Emily Starck as Snail, Jen Putnam  —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Jesse Morrisey as Iron Goddess, left, Emily Starck as Snail —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS



Thursday, March 02, 2017

Eight area arm wrestlers faced off on Saturday during the “Wemawl” — the Western Mass Arm Wrestling Ladies Brawl — at Northampton’s World War II Club to benefit the Center for Women and Community at UMass.

Costumed wrestlers strutted, swaggered, danced and crawled to the stage for an enthusiastic crowd of more than 100; the women’s entourages followed them, collecting donations for the UMass center. 

It was the second brawl organized, partly, by Maida Ives, of Hadley, who is a wrestler with 10 contests under her belt. She chose to referee this show dressed as a judge under the stage name Ruth Maida Ginsberg. She said the contest gained supporters mostly through word-of-mouth, but also via a Facebook page.

"I know a lot of strong, artistic women who want to raise money for good causes," she said.

Margaret Byrne, of Northampton, wrestling for the first time, said she had calluses on her elbows from training. Though she claimed to be the champion of her sixth grade class, she was knocked off in the first round by the Iron Goddess, known to most as Jesse Morrisey, of Southampton, who made it to the semifinal.

"What a strong group of women helping other women be strong," Byrne said.

The entourage of Amy Calandrella, of Holyoke, who goes by Rosie the Wrecker, included both her mother, Gail Calandrella, and her grandmother, Margaret Fitzgerald. Gail said she wanted to be active in the community and raise money while having fun with friends and family, but also "show that women have a sense of humor with power."

At the end of the night, Snail, who is Emily Starck, and the only contestant to crawl to the stage, came out on top. Now living in Maine, she formerly worked with runner-up Carley McKee, of Montague, at the town's Red Fire Farm.

"I'm not very competitive. I didn't think I would win. I'm glad it was against my buddy, Carley," Starck said. 

The event raised about $1,500.