The Roundup -

Sidney Wrestling Club Casino Night This Friday


October 24, 2018 | View PDF

Lisa and Shane Gorder, Terry Williams, Troy and Janelle Jensen all met to discuss future events for the Sidney Wrestling Club like the Wrestling Club Casino Night with Speaker Nick Ackerman. (Photo by Jaymi Loobey)

Friday night, October 26, 840 Sidney Wrestling Club supporters are in for a real treat. At 6 p.m. the Wrestling Club's Annual Casino Night fundraiser begins at the Sidney Elks Lodge. They will enjoy delicious parmesan chicken and chicken fried steak, music, prizes, bingo, poker, and other fun things as one would expect but this year the special guest is inspirational speaker, bilateral amputee, and Hodge Trophy Winner Nick Ackerman.

According to Bob Dotson in a 2011 segment of Today's American Story Nick Ackerman, an Iowa native, had to have both of his legs amputated below the knee when he contracted meningitis at 18 months. That did not stop him from competing in various sports such as football and wrestling. He continued to wrestle while attending college at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa where he made it to the 2001 NCWA Championships and beat a wrestler who had been undefeated. He was given the Hodge Trophy that year for being the outstanding wrestler of the year. He shared the honor with repeat winner, Cael Sanderson. He had wanted to become a park ranger but chose another path in the end. Nick ended up taking classes to learn how to make prosthetics like the ones he had worn most of his life. According to their website,, Nick now works for American Prosthetics & Orthotics. Nick Ackerman, CP, LP, is APO's Director of Prosthetics. An ABC-certified prosthetist, he is C-Leg® and RHEO KNEE® certified and sees patients in the Des Moines office. Nick, who has been an APO patient since childhood, joined the staff in 2001. He is a graduate of Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa, as well as the prosthetics program at Northwestern University. In addition to seeing patients, Nick is responsible for educating staff on new developments in prosthetics, establishing company-wide prosthetics practices and protocols, supervising prosthetic residents, and developing curriculum for training.

Lisa said that since they were going to honor and acknowledge Coach Guy Melby for his induction into the AAU Hall of Fame last summer, they wanted to do something special. Shane had heard Nick speak at an AAU Convention in Des Moines, Iowa last year and had struck up a friendship with him. Nick was coming to Montana to hunt this year and they asked him to stop by and share with the Poker Night attendees. Lisa Gorder, one of the many organizers of the Sidney Wrestling Club's Casino Night, told me she believes that anyone who comes to listen will benefit from listening to Nick. Her husband and fellow organizer, Shane Gorder said, "Any community member facing a challenge would benefit from listening to Nick speak."

Tickets are $40 and include dinner for two and a chance to win the progressive raffle and they will not need to be present to win. Tickets for those who just want dinner are $10 at the door. The tickets for the entire event are being sold in the Elks Lodge at 123 3rd St SW in Sidney, Montana and by individual local wrestling club members. Those not up for dinner can come later in the evening for the games, prizes, and opportunities for fun throughout the night. Over $4,000 in cash and prizes are up for grabs and include Denver Broncos tickets, a fishing trip to Lake Traverse in South Dakota and much more. Lisa told me, "Tickets are limited and they sell out every year so if you want to come, hurry to get your tickets soon."


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