Category: News

Help Keep Durham LUEWWD

Hello LUEWWD friends and family! We’ve got some impressive updates…and a special request.

Let’s do the updates first…

We are excited to share that since our inception in February of 2010 and our first event that June, the League of Upper Extremity Wrestling Women of Durham (LUEWWD) has raised more than $100,000 for organizations that support Durham’s women and girls. Here are some stats:

  • We’ve hosted 22 events (15 arm wrestling tournaments and seven other types of fundraisers, such as LUEWWDstache beard and mustache competitions, Bloodsport, and LUEWWD Olympics)
  • By hosting those events, we’ve been able to donate money and supplies to 22 Durham organizations
  • Nine different venues have welcomed us:  the James Joyce Irish Pub (our first!), the Casbah, Social Games & Brews, Bull McCabe’s Irish Pub, Liberty Arts, Triangle Brewing Co., the Pinhook, the bar durham, and Motorco
  • 75 businesses have sponsored our events, totaling more than $14,000 in financial contributions and thousands and thousands in in-kind donations
  • More than 100 wrestlers have taken the stage accompanied by over 400 of their costumed entourage members
  • Over 160 people (including most of the Eno River Women’s Rugby Team) have volunteered to work the door, sling merch, serve drinks and wrangle wrestlers.
  • For those of you who don’t know, every LUEWWD event pays it forward to the next event. That is, $500 from each event is withheld from the proceeds in order to pay for the next event and the LUEWWD organization does not keep a single dollar. Not one dollar. LUEWWD’s only source of income is the t-shirts, pins, and socks we make and sell.

Say no more? Here’s the link to contribute to LUEWWD’s efforts.

milestone poe-sters

Although the founding members (Diana Barden, Jana Bradley, Kristin Lukasiewicz, Tonya Van Deinse, Sara Venables, Emily Williams) can take credit for birthing the league in Durham, these efforts have been continued through the leadership of its current organizing group (May Alexander, Jana Bradley, Kristin Lukasiewicz, LisaCaitlin Perri, Tonya Van Deinse), the stage personalities (Lori Glenn, Ray Lingle, Rebecca Payne and Ashley Trama; fun fact: all of these folks have been competitors in the Beaver Queen Pageant), our long term judge Robert Bland, and the latest planner extraordinaire Dawn Bland.

Now, here is the request. We are looking to raise $4,190 to cover expenses that will help maintain – and grow – our organization over the next two years. After nearly eight years of doing this work, we’ve got some things to repair and upgrade, as well as other basic necessities to cover, and we would have to sell about 1,000 pairs of socks to afford these. We intend to donate any unused funds to an organization in Durham (to be determined).

To reach this amount, will you contribute $5 or $10? Maybe our rich friends could give $20? Please keep in mind that your contribution to LUEWWD is not tax deductible.

So, if you like what we do and/or are connected to an organization that received funds from LUEWWD – please contribute to what is really a pretty darn good return on investment.

If you’ve got questions about what we do, email us at, or follow us on Facebook (@luewwd) and/or Twitter (@luewwd). #fillourbox #stayLUEWWD #keepDurhamLUEWWD


Long Story Short: The ladies of LUEWWD from Open Eye Creative on Vimeo.


A Message from the LGBTQ Center of Durham


Update: $7,700 was raised for the Center at LUEWWD XV! Click here for the results and links to photos. 

The LGBTQ Center of Durham (the Center) stands on the shoulders of a rich history of grassroots organizations in Durham who, in responding to the effects of marginalization and oppression, have answered the needs of various communities, specifically people of color and LGBTQ+ peoples, and those living within both communities simultaneously. Two years ago the Center opened its doors at 114 Hunt Street with the mission to improve the quality of life for LGBTQ+ folks in Durham by creating a space that welcomes and affirms all LGBTQ+ individuals.

This year we decided it was high time to celebrate the anniversary of the Center to acknowledge all of the work that has been done and the progress that has made in realizing our center’s mission and vision. Namely, over the last 2 years, our center has had some amazing accomplishments:

  • We’ve stayed open 7 days a week (except holidays) through the efforts of our amazingly dedicated volunteers;
  • We’ve hosted countless meetings and events, both for our own programs but also as a space available to individual community members, other organizations, etc (on a sliding scale basis to make our space affordable to everyone);
  • We’ve celebrated so many phases of life from weddings, to graduation parties, from prom dances to marriage proposals, to birthday gatherings;
  • We have offered a space where community has come together to build programs built by and for the community;
  • On any given day you are equally likely to find a quiet and peaceful place to come study, or an inspiring and educational presentation or movie screening;
  • Each month there is a broad and diverse array of programs aimed to build and sustain our community, talk about complex issues, educate the broader community, and mobilize towards creating a better Durham.  

We could not have done this without the support of the entire Durham and surrounding community and we want to take the time to celebrate with you!

Join us for a day and evening of celebration! The daytime portion of the party will be from 2:00-7:00 where everyone is invited to Rigsbee Avenue between Geer Street and Corporation (directly in front of Motorco)  for a family-friendly block party FREE to the community.  You’ll have an opportunity to engage with some of our community partners who will be tabling, enjoy games for the kids, a silent auction, and dancing along to the LIVE PERFORMANCE from Who’s Bad, a celebration of the King of Pop’s music around 5pm.

Stick around after the performance while the League Upper Extremity Wrestling Women of Durham (LUEWWD; pronounced ‘lewd’) close out our celebration with theatrical and competitive women’s arm wrestling. During the event – dubbed LUEWWD XV: simply irRESISTible – 8 costumed women will compete in a bracket style tournament for the championship belt while raising funds to support programming at the LGBTQ Center of Durham. (Here’s a link to the Facebook event which will have the latest updates)

Please celebrate with us!

Helena Cragg

Board Chair

LGBTQ Center of Durham

Call for Contestants! We Want You!

(So…this event happened already and it was a ton of fun! Click here for more.)


Have you been thinking about ways to meet cool people in Durham?

Do you secretly wish that Halloween was more than once a year so you can find another reason to dress in costume?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk in Sylvester Stallone’s footsteps in “Over the Top”? (sorry, we can’t make that dream come totally true… “over the top” is an illegal move in arm-wrestling… we could photoshop you into a supercool monster truck!)

Do you want to be a multi-tasking wizard by simultaneously raising funds for your community and having a ton of fun with your friends?

Here’s a key question: Are you free on October 14, 2017?

LUEWWD XV (yes, 15) is coming up and we are looking for new contestants! This means that you (yes, YOU!) would put on a costume, hop on the stage, and arm wrestle to benefit a local nonprofit. And you get to pick four of your friends to be your official entourage. It’s that easy!

Absolutely NO EXPERIENCE is necessary. We’ll get more details to you if you’re interested. And you could check out our FAQs too.

Please contact us at

Want more event details? Keep checking back here and Like Us on Facebook

recruitment full

Excerpt from poe-ster


LUEWWDstache: Beauty and the Brawn, part deux

This event has passed, but whoa — this awesome community of stache-donners and -lovers and arm wrestling fans helped raise $5,858 for Habitat for Humanity of Durham’s Women Build. Click here for pics of the event.


On April 30 from 2-5PM, LUEWWD is partnering again with Bull McCabe’s to bring you LUEWWDstache: Beauty and the Brawn, part deux. Proceeds from this event will benefit Habitat for Humanity of Durham’s Women Build.

This event is being sponsored by MAYDNEW DJ and Event Planning, Phunco, Durty Bull Brewing, William Travis Jewelry, NicholsonPham, Urban Durham Realty, Culture Hair Studio, Heather Garrett Interior Design and the Tranquility Company, and an additional anonymous donor. Additional in-kind donations have been provided by Adam & Eve, Carolina Beard Company, and the Scrap Exchange.

Join us for a Sunday Funday on the lawn where the beauty of men’s* beard and mustache competition meets the brawn of women’s* arm wrestling!

*A note about gender: LUEWWDstache is not HB(eard)2 and we are not policing your pants, just your whiskers – nuff said!

For the beauty portion, contestants will compete in the following categories. For the brawn, we will have four women wrestlers competing in an abbreviated LUEWWD bracket.

  1. In the LUEWWD, aka Au Naturale Leave your styling aids in your kit. It’s back to basics for these Au Naturale competitors. They can oil it, brush it, comb it, clean it, and condition it but don’t overdo it – the beauty of these facial coiffures is as natural as the feeling you get skinny dipping in the Eno.  
  2. The LUEWWD Coiffure, aka Styled and Secured A LUEWWDbush and a LUEWWDstache with some, let’s say, enhancements. Contestants can use styling aids to pump up and hold your curlies but no pins, barrettes, or extensions to give the extra boost.
  3. LUEWWD Fantasy, aka Facial Art Use your imagination to design either a realistic rendering of a beard and mustache or your fantasy facial art made out of the material you always wanted rubbing up against your cheeks.
  4. Best in Show, aka Shake the Moneymaker We will also choose Best in Show from the LUEWWDstaches and LUEWWDbushes in the contest. To win this most coveted prize, you need to be everyone’s favorite…and by that, we mean you need to earn the crowd’s dollars. The contestant with the most money raised by the end of the contestant will win!

Registration for beard and mustache is $10 in advance and $15 day of. Register here!

Interested in watching? Bring $5 and some friends!

Want to get involved or sponsor the event? Email

Meet young writer and brand new college student Natasha

Meet Natasha, get to know Partners for Youth Opportunity (PYO), and raise funds for PYO on October 15th at LUEWWD XIV: Double O LUEWWD, ladies’ arm-wrestling tournament for charity.


Writing my own happy ending

Additional thoughts from PYO Executive Director Julie Wells: “Natasha just headed off for college this week, texting staff the whole way. Her family rented a van to drive her to Wells College, where the PYO college counselor helped to secure financial aid and scholarships to help offset the cost of going to an out-of-state institution. Natasha wrote for the Durham VOICE for two years and this past summer interned at WUNC, reporting for Youth Voices radio.

I am really struck by this last editorial she wrote for the paper and the fact that she is experiencing this transition into to college with her family, stopping in DC along the way to see the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial for the first time…”

Proceeds from LUEWWD XIV will help PYO expand one of its core programs Girls Empowerment Project which covers cultural programming, leadership development opportunities and scholarships for girls. In addition to PYO’s client group being 65% girls, 62% of PYO families are led by single mothers. Often the involvement of one girl in the program leads to the involvement of a younger sibling or female cousins. PYO’s programming has a multigenerational impact on poverty and increases opportunity to level the playing field for many girls in Durham. YEAH!

P.Y.O. on center stage at LUEWWD XIV on Oct 15th

UPDATE: LUEWWD XIV: Double O LUEWWD was awesome! More than $7,500 was raised and will go towards Partners for Youth Opportunity’s Girls Empowerment Project. Thank you to everyone who attended. The contestants and entourages were incredible. Photos to be posted soon!

We are already having a blast planning LUEWWD XIV: Double O LUEWWD with its beneficiary Partners for Youth Opportunity (PYO). Click for event details and volunteer openings.

PYO exists to help Durham youth reach their educational and vocational potential through academic support, workforce training, mentoring and opportunities to connect with leadership and service learning.

(Look at this happy PYO crew!)


Proceeds from LUEWWD XIV will help PYO expand one of its core programs Girls Empowerment Project: cultural programming, leadership development opportunities and scholarships for girls. In addition to serving 65% girls, 62% of their families are led by single mothers. Often the involvement of one girl in the program leads to the involvement of a younger sibling or female cousins. PYO’s programming has a multigenerational impact on poverty and increases opportunity to level the playing field for many girls in Durham. YEAH!

(What a great mom-daughter pair pictured here with a lot to celebrate)momanddaughter

Like PYO on Facebook too!

Other posts related to PYO:

Meet young writer and brand new college student Natasha

Giselle and Julissa: Siblings benefit from PYO and community mentors

A few days away from LUEWWD XIII!

With just a few days to go before LUEWWD XIII: Rocky Horror LUEWWD Show which is benefiting Cribs for Kids Durham, here are some helpful tips and things we need you to know about the event…

Do check out the maps included here to show you how to get to Triangle Brewing Co and also where to park. When you get closer, look for signs and parking assistants to direct you. If there is a “no parking” sign by a tempting spot, do not park there!! Carpooling or cab/Uber/Lyfting is encouraged!

Triangle big map

triangle parking map

Do be prepared to have an awesome time in an environment that is welcoming to all.

Do be sure to get there early – we will be taking the stage right at 9:00 and you don’t want to be stuck in line when the action begins. Doors open at 8:00.

Do bring cash – this will cover your $5 admission fee, drinks, and any donations you want to make at the event.

Speaking of donations, do be ready for lots of people asking you for money – they may even give you something in return if you’re lucky.

Do feel free to dress in costume – let your inner Rocky Horror character out…and if you do, be prepared that we may ask you to come on stage and do the time warp with us

Do be aware that we are planning to have this as an outdoor event – dress appropriately in what you will feel comfortable in. We’ll update you if plans change but you should probably dress in layers anyway (what is up with the October weather?!).

Don’t bring chairs – this is going to be standing room only event, and besides you won’t see over everyone else around you if you try to sit

Don’t bring the props that you would usually take to Rocky Horror Picture Show screening…rice, toast, water guns, candles, etc. Believe us, there will be plenty of other fun going on!

Definitely don’t bring your judgey hat or your crabby pants. 😉

And the most important…Don’t bring outside alcohol – the location is not a traditional bar, but treat it as such. Triangle will be providing us with their delicious beer, we will have wine, and water for those not drinking alcohol

If we missed anything and you have questions, let us know. You can email We can’t wait to see you all Saturday!

Open Table Wrestling at LUEWWD XIII

If you’ve been to an event then you know our version of the 7th inning stretch is to showcase the might of our loyal audience by opening up the table to you all. We’re doing this a little differently this time. We’ve got 5 open table slots this time and they will be reserved for the highest bidders. You can reserve your spot in one of two ways:

1. Making a $100 donation on the online fundraising page prior to the event will guarantee you a slot (be sure to indicate “for open table” as the Name/Department)

Online fundraising page:

2. Wait until the night of the event…this one is for you if you are a risk taker…any available slots will go to the highest bidders

So get ready to challenge your friends, and remember we are always about safety first. Prior to getting up on stage each individual signed up will go through a brief training on how to arm wrestle!

Keep in mind that all of the rules that govern our contestants’ bouts will be applied to yours…which means you may need to brush up on your hula hooping, thumb wrestling, dancing, and lip-syncing in case you find yourself in a stalemate. But, you can always bribe the judges with a little green to help determine the outcome.

LUEWWD XIII all the details

The LUEWWD organizers have been busy lining up the details for LUEWWD XIII and with this event approaching fast, we’ve got four pieces of information we wanted to share with you.

First, the date! LUEWWD XIII will be on Saturday, October 3rd at 9:00 (doors open at 8:00)

Second, we’re moving! That’s right, we’ve literally grown out of our space at our faithful host venue, Social Games and Brews. So our friends at Triangle Brewing Company have offered to host LUEWWD XIII.

Third, the theme! Since this next event is our 13th and it’s in the month of October, we would like if we may, take you on a strange journey to… LUEWWD XIII: Rocky Horror LUEWWD Show. Those of you who remember life before cell phones and cable TV should remember this cult classic. Those of you who don’t know what we’re talking about, stay tuned for an opportunity to find out at a special film viewing event in September (details to follow!).


Fourth, the beneficiary! The most important detail and the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Cribs for Kids is the LUEWWD XIII beneficiary! Cribs for Kids Durham (a program of Welcome Baby operating with Durham County Cooperative Extension) provides new Pack ‘n Plays to families that do not have a safe place for their baby to sleep. Along with a new Pack ‘n Play, Cribs for Kids shares safe sleep strategies in an effort to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The program relies on private donations, small community grants, and fundraising events to purchase Pack ‘n Plays. As they approach their 5th year of distribution they have raised nearly $40K and distributed over 500 new Pack ‘n Plays! We are so excited to partner with Cribs for Kids and Welcome Baby and hope that we can make a significant contribution to their already impressive 5-year fundraising efforts!

That is all for now!

Karaoke Machine? Paddle Boats? Smores?


Every dollar you contribute to QORDS via LUEWWD XII: Express Yourself goes far! Check out the list below…

Bring cash to the April 25th event to spend on a bunch of entertaining things or donate online ahead of the event! Oh, did we mention that emcee Marilyn Manho will be on stage again (this is her last LUEWWD hosting gig — MAJOR SAD FACE) and that special guest Vivica C. Coxx will be performing? This is gonna be amazing!!

Thank you!

 $650-sends a youth to camp for the week

$325- sends a youth to camp for half the week

$315-transports the youth from the campground to the music venue for their performance

$270-feeds a youth at camp the whole week

$70-pays for a karaoke machine for use at camp

$45- feeds a youth at camp for one day

$30- pays for one microphone for band practice

$30-pays for Dr. Drum beat-maker download for hip hop tracks

$20-pays for make-up, nail polish, and glitter for one camper

$15-covers the cost of craft supplies for one youth at camp

 $15-rents a paddleboat for one youth at camp

 $15- buys a pack of CDs to record camper songs at the end of the week

 $10-pays for a pair of drumsticks for one youth

 $10-pays for Smores at the campfire for one youth during camp

 $5- pays for a journal for a youth to write in at camp

 $5- buys a pack of guitar strings for one camper


Poster graphic courtesy of