Oct. 1, 2009
Golden Valley business is a boy's dream
By Sue Webber
A sleek black stretch limo glided to a stop in front of a
Golden Valley business one recent sunny Sunday.
Six young people climbed out, along with two adults.
Courtesy of Wishes & More, the group had a
date with professional wrestler Lenny Lane, who would spend the
next two hours showing the young people wrestling moves in the ring.
Lane, 38, who works construction and still wrestles
professionally in the U.S. and abroad, also offers wrestling camps
for kids, as well as personal training for adults.
Two years ago, he began offering birthday party
packages for youngsters whose parents want to treat them and their
friends to two hours of trained instruction in the ring.
But he offers other customized parties as well,
including high school graduation parties, and surprise parties.
Last week's was one of those customized parties.
Wishes & More is an organization that grants
wishes for children between birth and age 19 who have a terminal
or life-threatening condition that requires ongoing treatment.
The honored child on this Sunday was Isaac Ryherd,
9, of Chaska, who was born with a kidney condition that has resulted
in his receiving three kidney transplants: in January and August
2001, and in July 2008.
His mother, Melissa, youth director at Minnewashta
Church, said the wrestling party was "a celebration that we've
made it this far."
"Isaac is doing great, absolutely wonderful,"
Melissa said. "He's a huge wrestling fan. He's been looking
forward to this for some time."
His party guests were his brothers, Tyus, 11,
and Zakk, 13, plus the man who donated the third kidney, Jeff Loftis,
and the three Loftis offspring, Dreven, 11, Canyon, 13, and Brittney,
"The donor and his kids have become a vital
part of our family," Melissa said.
Loftis, a professional musician who runs his own
entertainment/sports management firm, said he first heard about
Isaac's need for a kidney when his son, Dreven, and Isaac's brother,
Tyus, played on the same football team. Loftis had known the family
for three months when he offered to be a donor for Isaac.
"I live half a block from them, but I only
knew them for 10 months from the time I met them to the day they
cut me open," he said. "I have three kids of my own who
are totally healthy, and here was a little kid who couldn't play
outside or do anything. If one of my kids needed a kidney, I'd be
absolutely angry if everyone I knew didn't do everything they could
do to help."
Isaac clearly has his energy back; he rarely stopped
moving on the day of his celebration party.
After offering some instruction on warming up,
including the proper way to do push-ups and squats - plus a few
jumping jacks - Lane said, "This is your chance to get in the
ring and learn the things that your favorite wrestlers do on TV."
More instruction and chances to try out the moves
followed in the ring - somersaults, headlocks, running the ropes,
assuming "a character," the proper way to fall on the
mat, and how to leap onto the map from the ropes.
Yellow and black balloons decorated a table where
the young people were served cake and pop, putting a cap on a day
Lane said he hosts several children's parties
a month, but has booked as many as three in one day.
Lenny "Lane" Carlson was born and raised
in Duluth, Minn., where he played football and basketball at Denfeld
He majored in law enforcement at Hibbing Community
College, and also played basketball there.
Lane made his professional debut in 1995, after
training for several months with the "Trainer of Champions,"
Eddie Sharkey. Lane has wrestled for World Wrestling Entertainment
(WWE), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Total Nonstop Action
(TNA) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW).
On Aug. 19, 1999, he captured the WCW World Cruiserweight
Championship from Rey Mysterio, Jr.
Lane and his wife, Adrian, live in Mound.