BEAN’s Sumo on the Suzhou charity event on Friday night was a triumph of faux-obesity and altruism, and managed to raise 18,000RMB, a figure good enough for 730 basic children’s health kits. Ordinary men and women went through an instant metamorphosis at the River South Art Center, donning rubber suits to become corpulent and unwieldy, and then attempted to push each other out of a duct-tape dohyo for the sake of the children.
Who reside in Yunnan, to be exact. The brainchild of Claire Barco, Sumo on the Suzhou’s proceeds from drinks and entry fees are being used to provide basic health kits for children in Yunnan that includes soap and toothbrushes, a directive organized by the Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation.
While the quality of the competition was inconsistent at times, there was no questioning the passion and commitment the evening’s participants displayed in goofing off for a good cause. The wrestlers hopped, nudged and fell on top of each other with abandon, and played to the crowd like seasoned showmen. Compromising positions and inappropriate face-plantings were a constant throughout the evening.
We do have to mention that the bar at Sumo on the Suzhou was temptation incarnate, as every drink paid for one health kit. Thus the easily persuaded among us made martyrs of our next-morning constitutions, being convinced that of course an extra drink or five wouldn’t be a bad idea. It was all in the name of children’s welfare, after all.
If you didn’t manage to make it out to see Friday night’s wobbling and shoving and still want to donate, worry not. If you’d like to support BEAN, children’s health or future pseudo-sumo activity, then you can donate online here. A 58RMB donation will provide one health kit and the training of teachers on how to employ the kits, a slightly higher cost than the Sumo on the Suzhou’s cost of 25RMB per health kit sans training.
Photos by Dirk Bekkering and Fan Huang