DIGBY, N.S. – Jordan Morgan, the Digby-based father who is wrestling with a rare form of cancer, has inspired a new local fundraiser for his cause – and the organizer is prepared to take it in the arm.
Ronny Morehouse, an eight-time champion in arm wrestling, was so touched by Jordan Morgan’s story that he decided to create his own fundraising event – arm-wrestling style.
“I’ve never met Jordan in my life, but I saw other fundraisers were happening to support him, so I looked into it further. When I saw that he had two small children, I said, ‘I have two small children too, so there’s got to be something I can do to help,’” Morehouse said. “If I was in that situation, I’d really appreciate it if people would stand up and do something for me too. I really believe in ‘do unto others.’”
Morgan – a husband and father of two – was diagnosed four years ago with a rare sarcoma (cancer) after finding a lump in his leg. Over the years he’s undergone multiple treatments and surgeries. A new treatment, at $15,000 a dose, isn’t covered by the provincial health plan and would cost him $130,000.
Morehouse has now created the Jordan Morgan Arm-Wrestling Fundraiser that will be held March 10 at the Sunset Pub in Digby, with registration beginning at 12 noon. And as he’s been going around town, talking to people about his fundraiser idea, Morehouse said he’s been really pleased with the response.
“When I got the posters made up yesterday at Digby Print and Promo, I didn’t even have to ask, they automatically donated them,” Morehouse said.
Sandy Cove Fisheries, Vance Hazelton, Sunset Pub and Tina Grant of Mother Earth Natural Remedies have all made donations to a raffle draw.
“Everywhere I go and talk about this, people want to help out,” Morehouse said. “I just want to say to all the sponsors and people who are donating stuff to this event, thank you very much.”
Morehouse said other wrestlers from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I. are also stepping in to lend their arms to the cause. The event will feature challenge matches from some of Atlantic Canada’s best arm wrestlers. This interesting fundraiser is open to all ages and participants will pay $10 to take on Morehouse. The organizer, who placed fifth in Canada in 2014, wasn’t above offering an arm-wrestling tip to all comers.
“Best thing I can tell people is to hit me hard and fast,” said Morehouse, who added strength is important, but so is technique. “I’m hoping for at least a hundred entries. My goal is to raise five grand that day – any more than that is just a bonus for Jordan, but that’s the goal.”
He’s looking forward to his challengers and says if they beat him it’ll mean even more money for the fundraiser.
For every loss Morehouse suffers during the event, Seabrook Fishery, Royal Propane and Mother Earth Natural Remedies will each kick in $20 to the cause, meaning that’s an extra $60 donation each time he loses a round, and Morehouse would like to see that number rise to $100 if other local businesses want to step in to support The Jordan Morgan Fund.
“I just really want to help Jordan out – I saw he needs to raise $50,000 in the next three months, and I thought if I can raise $5,000 for him next month, then that’s another 10 per cent towards his goal,” Morehouse said.
Morehouse is so keen on the event, he’s even bringing in his own arm-wrestling table that he’s just had built for practice purposes. It’s painted with a Nova Scotia provincial flag.
“I’ll be breaking it in at the event. It’s never been used before,” Morehouse said. Morehouse is asking the creator of the table, Perry Bruhn, if he’ll also emcee the March 10 event.
Morehouse is a lobster fisherman, has been fishing since he was 13 years old. He started arm wrestling in 2013 and quickly rose to the top of the heap. He took last year off because he had a new baby at home and also because he lost his friend, and founder of the Digby Arm Wrestling Club, when Jeff McBride died tragically in an ATV accident. Morehouse, along with Phillip Carty and Kirk Meuse, are now the three remaining club members and are carrying the torch. Morehouse is also now back in training and plans to compete at the Atlantic Canada competitions in April, the provincials in May and is hoping to get to the nationals in Quebec in July.
Morehouse is excited to share his passion for the sport with the public for such a great cause.
“I hope Jordan can see how our arm wrestling family is coming together to help his family,” Morehouse said.
Maureen and Joey Hattie are co-owners of the Sunset Pub and have donated their space for the afternoon event.
“As a community, you do what you can do,” Maureen said about supporting the fundraiser.
Participants can pre-register at the Sunset Pub at 411 Conway Road in Digby in advance of the March 10 event or join the line-up at noon. Registration is $10. Raffle tickets are available. The event will also feature a raffle draw and a 50/50 draw. All proceeds will be donated to The Jordan Morgan Fund.