|Copeland family thanks the wrestling community for its support and kindness|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
The Copeland family of McDonough, N.Y. would like to thank the entire wrestling community for its support and kindness since the death of their daughter Toni Copeland in October.
Toni Copeland, 18, died in a drowning accident while swimming on Lake Superior in Marquette, Mich. on Sunday, October 2. Copeland, a high school senior, was a member of the U.S. Olympic Education Center (USOEC) women's wrestling program at Northern Michigan Univ.
"I wish to give our sincere and heartfelt thanks to the wrestling community for all of the phonecalls, the e-mails, the cards, the flowers and the kindness they have sent to us," said Debbie Copeland, Toni's grandmother. "It has been overwhelming."
Debbie indicated that the thank-yous also come from Toni's grandfather Don, as well as other family and friends.
Debbie Copeland also wanted to thank all of the people who contributed to the memorial fund which has been established in Toni's name. There have been many people who have contributed to the fund, which will support female wrestling, and any other donations would be greatly appreciated.
To donate to this memorial fund, send contributions to:
c/o Shamrock Wrestling Club
7 Kirkwood Ave.
Binghamton, NY 13901
Toni Copeland was nationally ranked on the Senior level in women's freestyle wrestling. She placed fifth at the 2005 U.S. Nationals at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. Copeland was a Junior National runner-up the last two years. She was third at the 2005 FILA Junior Nationals, and was a medalist at the FILA Cadet Nationals for three straight years (2002-2004).
The 2005 New York Athletic Club Holiday Championships, which was held in New York City on November 19-20, was dedicated to the memory of Toni Copeland, who was a member of the New York AC's wrestling team.