To open, Drew Gulak, best known for his wrestling in Combat Zone Wrestling (where he was, until recently, the World Heavyweight Champion) and Beyond Wrestling; is known by fans and wrestlers for his real-life advocacy about various social issues (even written into his “Campaign for a Better Combat Zone” storyline in CZW where his character complains about the lack of respect for women in wrestling).
He has started a Make-A-Wish fundraising page, which allows fans to contribute to the efforts, best known by the efforts of WWE and John Cena. It reads as follows (followed by an example of a child who was helped by Make-A-Wish):
Friends and Family,
I’ve been looking into ways to give back to the community lately and one of the simplest ways to do that was to set up a donations page for Make-A-Wish. I believe strongly in their organization and others like it. I have set a modest goal for now and depending on the success of this minute campaign I will create more. Help me support this great cause by donating today!
Then there’s every WWE fan’s favorite verbal punching bag, John Cena. His advocacy for Make-A-Wish is much more well-known than Gulak’s. Chant whatever you want at Cena. Bitch that he has only five moves of doom (but I dare you to say that’s true after any WWE PPV). But it’s pretty well known, even to his harshest critics, that Cena has the biggest heart of all in wrestling. He has granted hundreds of wishes for Make-A-Wish children, including some well before he started making them public at the urging of Make-A-Wish and WWE.
Well, social media and the people of southern Ohio and northern Kentucky made another one happen.
Cincinnati’s TV stations have chronicled 20 year old northern Kentucky girl Brittany Depew’s story over the past few years, including her being named Homecoming Queen and her graduation from high school, despite the challenge of Down’s Syndrome.
Now Depew is terminally ill, and posed for a photo as she lay in a hospital bed with a sign that read, “My leukemia is past the stage of being cured. I (heart) U John Cena. #NeverGiveUp.”
Thousands were touched by the image. It got retweeted thousands of times and went viral. John Cena was made aware of it, and recorded a personal video message to Brittany, congratulating her on graduating high school and then wishing her happy birthday early, given the harsh reality she may not live to make the actual date.
Cena had a pointed comment regarding social media on his Twitter: “Often, sadly enough, social media is a haven for bullying and negativity. Today, a group of strangers used it for something wonderful” .
The story was reported on Cincinnati’s WLWT:
The original story on WPCO is viewable via WCPO’s website here.
Speaking of middle America, central Indiana based Hoosier Pro Wrestling does considerable charity-based work year round. This past Saturday night’s show raised money for Relay for Life, a fundraiser of the American Cancer Society, which raises funds and awareness about cancer and research to fight it. Promoter Jerry Wilson started these events after one of his talent had been involved in Relay for Life. He has been additionally motivated after his own cancer scare and his father’s death from the disease.
But long before that, Hoosier Pro has worked for 13 years with local merchant JD Byrider. These yearly collections have brought hundreds of cans of non-perishable food items to area food banks and churches.
This year’s event will take place on June 28 at JD Byrider, located at 2645 N. National Road, Columbus, I. Admission is six cans of food. Fans need to bring lawn chairs (no alcohol or coolers are permitted).
If you’re within a drive of the Indianapolis/Columbus, IN area on June 28, take a drive to this show and help Hoosier Pro Wrestling help the cental Indiana community.
Until next time….
— Bob Magee