This column was written before the events of Sunday night and Monday norning. As some of you may have seen on my site, my dad passed away Monday morning after a coronary event that occurred Sunday night as Elimination Chamber started. I'll leave my thoughts perhaps next week after we bury him; and we can begin the process of remembering him. Right now, the pain is too fresh. Any thoughts and prayers for me and my family would be appreciated.
I've said from time that I want this columns to discuss the human side of the business called wrestling. This column featured two of those times when independent wrestling gives back.
Here's are two wrestling related campaign designed to help the public. The first is designed to help the family of a longtime independent Philadelphia area wrestling fan who lost his battle with cancer; with the information courtesy of Jess Ragni and his widow Kylee.
Dustin Wells lost his battle with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a very rare and aggressive form of cancer. The disease is mainly found in childlren, and occasionally with teens. The disease is VERY rare to be found in adults over the age of 17, and when it is, it is very aggressive. The disease only affects 70 cases a year. Wells was diagnosed at age 24 with stage 3 rhabdoomyosarcoma; and he lost the fight against this disease recently. His wife had put together a Facebook to publicize the disease and Dustin's fight against it at this link. Fans, those within independent wrestling and readers in general need to rally and help raise money for Dustin's family during this time of need.
Jess and Bay Ragni (aka Chubby Dudley for all of you oldtime ECW fans) and Dustin's friends have organized this campaign and this fundraising event. As Jess indicated, each of us at one time or another, have all unfortunately seen how horrible a disease cancer is and have lost someone to it, fought it, beat it, currently going thru it or have been defeated by it (this writer included).
Let's band together to celebrate the life of our friend Dustin who fought courageously for many years~he will be there in spirit with all of us; especially within his family. Dustin Walls lost his 2 year battle with cancer on Monday, and has left behind a wife and daughter.
Please print out the above voucher to the Hooters of Concordville, PA for anytime on February 22, 2012 for take out, dine in, and even merchandise (Pennsylvania State law forbids such an effort from including alcohol in this discount). Present this voucher and 20% will go to the Walls family to help offset expenses they have incurred during this horrific time. You must present the voucher when you pay your bill at Hooters in order to get the 20% donated to the family.
Raffle items donated so far:
* $30 Gift Pack of Arbonne products (donated by The Rockin Rebel's wife, Stephanie B. Williams)
* Blair's Florist in Aston, PA has donated a Gift Certificate
* Harvest Bar 'n Grille in Glen Mills, PA has donated a Gift Certificate
* Pica's Restaurant in Upper Darby, PA has donated a Gift Certificate
* 1 Free Body Piercing by Antman at X-Treme Ink in West Chester, PA
* ECWA Wrestling has donated a prize pack which includes 2 tickets to their March 3 show, and 2 tickets to the annual Super 8
* A session at California Sun Tanning of Springfield, PA
If you cannot make the event, you can still donate to Dustin's family through this link
Then, a New York independent wrestling promoter is stepping into the ring to help beat bullying, with "the campaign that is packed with the muscle do so."
Family Wrestling Entertainment (FWE) has aligned with the Rocky Marciano/BULLYING...We're Kickin' It National Campaign to help eradicate an ever growing epidemic that is plaguing our youth and they are kicking off the relationship with several of the wrestling stars flexing their muscle in support on February 25th at St.Paul Hall during the FWE No Limits Wrestling Event.
Bullying is witnessed in every area in every community; we are all familiar with it in one way or another, so we all need to unite against it. ~states FWE President Jordan Schneider
"We are aligning with Kickin' It not only because of their message; the campaign is effectively helping to improve the social climate for all students. By uniting with KI we are helping to spread the powerful message that bullying is not acceptable behavior, while letting our young fans know that Kickin' It is there for them, providing healthy ways to deal with these issues" continues Schneider.
"Wrestlers have a persona, as do bullies, the only difference is bullies intentionally want to hurt others," states FWE wrestler Malta the Damager.
Standing nearly 7 feet tall and weighing over 300 pounds one would not think the gentle giant would have been picked on as a youngster. "Bullies targeted me because I appeared different, not only was I big and lanky, my ethnicity in the Astoria neighborhood made me different. After getting knocked down so much I realized I had nowhere to go but up. I believed in myself, I turned to wrestling and now I perform for thousands of fans." states Malta.
"We all have a responsibility to tell our youth (and the young fans) that negative behavior is unacceptable, uniting with KI will help strengthen that message", states FWE wrestler Jay Lethal.
"Wrestling is about being assertive and confident not necessarily aggressive, win or lose its about having a strong sense of self worth and respecting yourself and your opponent." states FWEwrestler Tommy Dreamer "Kickin It promotes respect, compassion and unity, WE all need to work together to strengthen and reinforce the message that bullying is not acceptable."
"Wrestling is sports entertainment for students and families to enjoy which not only involves an entertainment aspect but a strong athletic regimen which can allow students to release negative emotions and energy '" states Scott Epstein, KI Director of PR, with over 40 years in wrestling and sport promotions.
"Students can join their school wrestling team that can lead to scholarships; wrestling could take them to the Olympics and/or offer career opportunities. Professional Wrestling known better today as Sports Entertainment does have its array of former Olympic Gold Medal winners, NCAA Champions and a Pan American Games Weight Lifting Champion. Aligning with FWE is a positive move that sends a positive message," Epstein states.
"My in ring poetry allowed for me to vent my feelings thus giving me relief from stresses and helped increased my positive energy." states former WWE Superstar and Campaign Spokesperson Leaping Lanny Poffo, aka The Genius. "Kickin' It encourages and promotes students to turn to any positive outlet (not just sports, music, etc.) to gain a healthy perspective and that allows the campaign to support countless students not just a small group."
"We are proud not only to stand with these athletes but with the entire FWE Organization as they offer family entertainment whiling promoting the sport respectfully" - Rocky Marciano Jr.
Unite in the Fight to Knockout Bullying and meet some of the muscle that is Kickin' It, February 25 at St. Paul Hall NYC, the No Limits Wrestling Event hosted by FWE. Post a positive message on the BULLYING...We're Kickin' It Facebook page and the 1st 100 positive quotes will receive a FREE ticket to the Event. The Top 5 exceptional quotes will receive a Kickin' It Poster signed by some of the FWE athletes!"
The BULLYING...We're Kickin' It National Campaign an aggressive, unique, powerful course of action designed to; reduce bullying behavior, improve the overall school climate and keep the anti-bullying message present throughout the year, ensuring all students a safe and healthy school experience. Kickin' It provides school projects, intervention strategies, faculty and bus driver support and assistance, afterschool leadership workshops, parent/guardian groups, student mentoring programs, access to positive outlets, an anonymous text reporting hotline, a resource fund for students seeking professional help and social media monitoring and support, re-enforcing and emphasizing traditional values, manners, etiquette, kindness and respect.
For information, go to BULLYING...We're Kickin' It National Campaign website.
Until next time...
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