Pro wrestling legend, Mick Foley, took the time to speak with Talking Tough about certain fundraisers that he has been a part of in recent months. As he travels to speaking engagements and conventions through the Fall, Mick is going out of his way to raise money for an organization in honor of Daffney’s passing.

He is also raising funds for Jimmy Rave’s medical bills, a wrestler who lost his legs to MRSA, a sever staph infection. Mick plans to continue raising donations at all of his future shows.

“The young lady I was friends with, Daffney, her real name is Shannon, she struggled for a long time. And she, you know, she went on Instagram live, she was talking about ending her life, and then that next morning, she was dead. And I saw that her mom was asking for people to contribute to NAMI, the Georgia Chapter, and that was the inspiration [for my tour],” he said. “Like I said, I was thinking by the time I start doing them is the 2nd or 8th of September, so I’ve got about 21, 22 shows. If I can raise $200, that would be $4000, but instead, we raised $15,000.

“So I’m going to try to [incorporate fundraising for Daffney] everywhere I go. On December 5, I’ll pick out a different organization. Last night, I was able to raise $520 for Jimmy Rave, a professional wrestler that lost both his legs to MRSA. He had two amputations, looking at a $100,000 medical bill, so $520 is just a drop in the bucket, but at least Jimmy knows that the wrestling world is thinking of him.”

The hardcore legend is glad that more people are willing to discuss mental illness, and credits the COVID-19 pandemic as a catalyst for society’s change of approach. He recognizes that most people better understand hardship and loneliness after such a difficult time we are going through.

“[Mental illness] is one of the subjects that doesn’t really need to hide in the shadows anymore. So, I think the pandemic opened up a lot of peoples’ eyes about what it is like to struggle. Life was hard before the pandemic began, but now you’ve got people who can’t– you know, we’re supposed to be social beings. And to be away from friends, and family, and feel like nobody is out there for you, just compounded.

“I knew going in, because of organizations that I’ve worked with, that domestic violence was going to pick up,” Mick explained. “Problems like that were going to be exacerbated because you have, you know, people who may be at odds with each other but they can at least escape the house. But now they’re all– so yeah, it was a tough situation. Loneliness almost became it’s own pandemic, so I think it’s great we’re more willing to talk about mental illness these days.”

He also noted that his strategy when trying to fundraise for causes is to give a bit of an incentive to those donating. He used the potential prizes for his past “WrestleMania dream auction” as an example.

“Remember when Mary Poppins was saying ‘spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down’? You need something along with that [charity] that brings– I think people will do the right thing if they’re encouraged with a dangling carrot, you know? Like, for me, so I was able to raise some money for what I was calling the ‘WrestleMania Dream Auction’. People saw that I was definitely trying to make money for groups that I’ve worked with over the years, but they also saw the wrestling side of it. [We offered] two tickets to anywhere in the world, the ‘Mania, and then I kept throwing in, you know, a meet and greet with this person, and lunch with Lynch, Becky Lynch would do lunch. There was breakfast with Banks one year, Sasha Banks joined my winners. And so, people got into the spirit of giving but they don’t get in there all on their own.”

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talking Tough with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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