SOUTHINGTON - The Connecticut Arm Benders are partnering with the Sons of the American Legion Post 2 to hold their inaugural tournament June 2 at the post to support State Police Youth Week.
The event will be preceded by Super Matches at the post at 22 Hooker Court, Bristol, starting at 1 p.m. The main event will then be held at 2 p.m. Proceeds will support State Police Youth Week, a former state program that American Legion Post 2 has continued to support with fundraisers. It provides a mini-police academy with the State Police for youths age 16 and 17.
Ron Ermini, who heads the Connecticut Arm Benders and who took third place last year at the 39th Annual World Arm Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary, said he was contacted by Patrick Kilby, commander of the Bristol Sons of the American Legion about hosting a fundraiser tournament.
“I talked to the guys on our team and everybody seemed to be down with it,” said Ermini. “We’re more than happy to do what we can. It’s a good way for us to get more people involved in the sport and it also helps out kids who are trying to get into the academy.”
“It’s a a good way to help the community,” said Marc Piatek.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Judah Thomas, who is also sponsoring the event through ThriveChurch at . “We’ve been wanting to hold a tournament for a while and it’s nice to partner with the State Police and the Sons of the American Legion to do some good, too.”
Ermini said the Connecticut Arm Benders have drummed up interest from arm wrestlers throughout Connecticut as well as New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Already more than 130 people have marked that they were interested on the Facebook event page for the tournament.
The Super Matches, two best of five matches before the tournament, will include Mark Bernardo facing off with a challenger, and “Big Mike” Homewood will face off against Tim Bresnan from “Team Dungeon” of Portland, a former world tournament competitor. The Connecticut Arm Benders will also be participating in a tournament held by Team Dungeon Aug. 19 at Mohegan Sun.
“They’re supporting us so we’ll support them,” said Ermini.
Weigh-ins prior to the tournament, to determine weight class, will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. June 1 and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 2 at the Legion post.
The professional and novice events for men will be separated into the following weight classes: 0 to 165 pounds, 166 to 185 pounds, 186 to 205 pounds, 205 to 225 pounds and 225 pounds plus.
The professional and novice events for women will be separated into the following weight classes: 0 to 125 pounds, 126 to 149 pounds and 149 pounds plus.
Admission is $25 per person for pro or novice weight classes in the men’s divisions with $20 for extra weight classes or $15 per person for pro or novice weight classes in the women’s division with $10 for extra weight classes.
There is a $3 cover charge for spectators.
For more information, visit or call Ron Ermini at 860-877-3071 or email him at .
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or .