My turn

Saturday movie screening benefit for wrestler with cancer

2013-04-04T00:00:00Z Saturday movie screening benefit for wrestler with cancerGeorge Grenchik Times Columnist
April 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

For many folks this is the week of spring/Easter break. And if you are looking for — and even if you are not — a worthwhile activity to end your week, I have one for you.

This Saturday will see a special screening of an original movie that was made for quite a special purpose. It was produced by Walter Banasiak with the help of Harry Locke III. These two, along with my son Daniel, were the creators/producers of two feature length indie movies a few years back. Walter, Harry, Daniel, and Barry Piotrowski are members of the Thornton Fractional North High School class of 2007

This movie is a documentary titled “Life of the Ropes — the Barry Ryte Story." It is about the wrestling ambitions and appearance on the wrestling show “Smackdown” of Barry Piotrowski. (Barry Ryte is Piotrowski’s wrestling name).

It seems that Barry, a Burnham resident, has worked long and hard at fulfilling his dream of being a professional wrestler in spite of the fact that the two and a half years ago he was struck by cancer.

After a long, hard battle and much high level medical attention, Barry appears to be out of the woods. But the battle was costly.

Because Barry's illness was considered a pre-existing condition, his insurance company dropped him. And it was deemed that he had not been sick long enough to be considered for help from Medicaid or the American Cancer Society. So much of the cost of the 11 months of treatment has to be borne by the Piotrowski family.

Although the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) has often been demonized, the fact is that what happened to the Piotrowski family will not happen when the act is fully implemented.

Back to the movie.

There will be a screening of the movie this Saturday at the T.F. North High School auditorium, 755 Pualski Road in Calumet City. There will be a $5 admission to the movie, though I am sure they will allow you to upgrade that amount. There will be raffles of donated prizes. This will all be done to help the family with the onerous bills that confront them.

Doors open 7 p.m. and the movie screening will be at 7:30. Please come and be generous.

My respect and admiration go out to Walter Banasiak and Harry Locke III for creating and producing this film for their classmate.

The T.F. North class of 2007 was and is quite a remarkable group in many ways. This is just one more.

A tip of the hat to T.F. North High School and Assistant Principal Ray Williams for providing a venue for this worthwhile undertaking


Congrats to two of my old kids (former students); Michael Koller and Michael Cierski. I am now their students as they are choir and assistant choir directors of St. Victor’s Celebration choir. Some grand and powerful sounds were heard this past Easter weekend. The choir rocks.

Finally, congratulations and thanks to Tim Murphy on his recent retirement from the Calumet City Police Department. Tim was and is a class act. I’ve always respected people who are really good at what they do. For dedication and service to the community — I respect Tim Murphy. Best of luck to you.

Thanks for reading.

The opinions are solely those of the writer. George Grenchik is a longtime Calumet City resident and retired instructor at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond. He can be reached at

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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