The Santa Monica Bay Wrestling Club and coach Mark Black will celebrate 50 years of Santa Monica High School wrestling with a fundraising event on the Santa Monica Pier from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, June 12th.

All proceeds from the event will support the high school’s wrestling program and the newly created Santa Monica Middle School wrestling programs. The event’s entertainment will feature comedy by Patrick Keane and friends as well as a dinner, auction, and raffles.

Santa Monica High (Samohi) wrestling is considered to be among the oldest programs in California, with a hallowed history of competitive teams and individual accomplishments, Samohi coaches said. Lawrence Jackson put Santa Monica on the California wrest-ling map with three undefeated state championships in the 1980s and the program has been enjoying a robust renaissance, coaches said.

Black, who has been the head coach at the high school for 35 years, has, with help of the Santa Monica Bay Wrestling Club, assembled technique coaches and conditioning experts that assisted Santa Monica High’s Yusaf Syed in capturing the state title in 2005 and Jazzy Green in winning two girls state championships in 2004 and 2005.

In addition, Santa Monica has qualified athletes for the state championship for the past seven years and finished sixth out of 50-plus teams in its CIF division. Additionally the team has placed several members at Division I NCAA schools and two of this year’s captains are heading to UC-Berkley in the fall.

Information on the Santa Monica Bay Wrestling Club,