PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — When Portland Police Officer Mark Zylawy died in 2008 after being struck on I-5, his colleagues and friends rallied to create a scholarship in his honor to help disadvantaged youth.
Now, the Z-Man Wrestling Tournament has become a staple fundraiser in the community.
“When he passed tragically and suddenly and we lost him, we thought we would create the scholarship foundation to carry his legacy forward,” said Chris Uehara, the commander of Portland’s North Precinct.
The Z-Man scholarship wrestling tournament is a big hit with more than 500 participants from all over Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska.
Among the wrestlers at Liberty High School’s gym was Jasmine Alvarez, whose goal was not just to have fun but to show the boys she’s pretty tough, too.
“Usually my brother, he tries wrestling me and then I get him back,” she told KOIN 6 News.
PPB Chief Larry O’Dea said the proceeds from the fundraiser will go to help disadvantaged high school students get scholarships.
“It’s just so important, especially in this day and age, for police and youth to have a good, positive, strong relationship,” O’Dea said. “There’s really no better investment of our time than in our youth.”