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A professional wrestler for more than 40 years, Crusher was known as "The Man that Made Milwaukee Famous." (PHOTO: DavesClassicWrestlingPhotos.com)

Vanguard hosts fundraising event for Da Crusher statue Thursday night

If you hadn't already heard, there's a local fundraising campaign underway to put a life-size (or, befitting his personality, larger-than-life) bronze statue of Reggie "'The Crusher" Lisowski in South Milwaukee, where the legendary professional wrestler and perhaps that city's most famous resident lived his entire life.

According to a GoFundMe page created by Chris Smith in December to announce the idea and accept donations for the memorial, "'Da Crusher symbolizes the embodiment of the blue collar, hard working history of the people of South Milwaukee and a monument honoring his memory will be a proud landmark for the people of South Milwaukee forever."

As of Tuesday, the page had received contributions from 230 people and, impressively, reached nearly $33,000 of its $40,000 goal.

And on Thursday at 6 p.m., the group leading the memorial statue effort will host a fundraising event, Crusher Night at The Vanguard, 2659 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Among the items on sale will be three different T-shirt designs, a Crusher memorabilia silent auction and ticket for the Legends Roundtable on April 6. In addition, Crusher-themed food will be available and vintage wrestling videos will be playing on the TVs.

According to dacrusher.org, The Tap Room will hold an event on March 15, followed by the panel discussion on April 6 at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center, where other American Wrestling Association greats will celebrate Lisowski.

A professional wrestler for more than 40 years who was known as "The Man that Made Milwaukee Famous," Crusher was a three-time AWA Heavyweight Champion, a five-time AWA tag-team champion with Dick the Bruiser and a member of the WCW Hall of Fame.

In 2005, Lisowski, a World War II Army veteran, died of a brain tumor at the age of 79.

Given the organizational initiative, events and fundraising success, a memorial Da Crusher bronze statue in South Milwaukee seems closer than ever to actually happening. As the man himself often said, "How 'bout dat?!"


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