"A Day for Dylun" raises money for Tapio family in Kaukauna

KAUKAUNA, Wi. (WBAY) - People in Kaukauna enjoyed a special kind of performance Saturday from Wisconsin Professional Wrestling.

The group showed off some impressive wrestling moves, but the event was about more than entertainment. It was really about celebrating the life of 12-year-old Dylun Tapio who lost his life this past June.

“I saw the picture the family gave the news media, and it was him [Dylun] at a WWE show. I’ve done this for 18 years, this is my life,” said wrestler Nick Gerger. “So when I saw the opportunity to be able to give back, I absolutely wanted to jump on board and do anything I can.”

The Tapios say a wrestling benefit is fitting for Dylun.

“I knew right away it was something to do,” said Jason Tapio, Dylun’s father. “Dylun has always loved wrestling, wanted to get into it when he got older.”

Gerger, known as “The Mouth of the Midwest JP,” says the community donations and support for “A Day for Dylun” was fantastic.

“It started out as just a wrestling show, but it’s blossomed into this entire event,” said Gerger.

“When Nick Gerger from WPW, Wisconsin Professional Wrestling, approached me to do a benefit for Dylun, I was 100 percent in,” said Kaukauna Mayor Tony Penterman.

Penterman was so involved, he even had a small part in the wrestling show.

Aside from the fun performances, the Tapio family also had an opportunity to sell “Dylun’s Law Bracelets” as a way to advocate for more safety measures around detention or retention ponds.

“There aren’t heavy regulations anywhere across the U.S. for places like this,” said Jason. “It could’ve happened to anybody. It happened to happen to us, so we want to help others.”

In addition to the bracelets, any merchandise, raffle prizes, food or drink sales all went to support the family.

“We appreciate all the support from the community, from everyone that’s helping out. It’s just touching our hearts and everything, and we just love it,” said Tia Tapio, Dylun’s mom.

Gerger is simply grateful that the family allowed them to help through the sport Dylun loved.

“To be able to give back to the community, it doesn’t happen often,” said Gerger. “So when it does it’s really, really touching and really awesome.”