The following statement is a public response to Dawn Marie’s open letter regarding Wrestlers Rescue which featured on several wrestling websites earlier this week:
For the last three years Dawn Marie has promoted Wrestlers Rescue as a charity to raise monies to help and support the health care needs of retired professional wrestlers. During that time Dawn has sent me numerous emails asking my help to spread word of her fund raising activities through my writings relating to this project. I duly obliged in most instances.
One of the primary benefactors was to be journeymen wrestler Dr. Death Steve Williams who sadly succumbed to cancer in December, 2009. Shortly after Doc’s passing I asked Dawn what she planned to do with the thousands of dollars she had raised—whether that would be in terms of covering funeral expenses for the family or a talked about trust fund for Doc’s son.
Dawn told me on-the-record in a January email, “We are talking with the family and trying to figure out the best way to use the dollars that weren’t used.”
I asked Dawn again a few weeks later and received no response.
A few weeks after that I asked Dawn whether Wrestlers Rescue was in fact a registered charity and what other retired wrestlers she planned to help in the future. Dawn replied and told me that her representative would be in touch soon and furnish me with the information I requested.
Dawn’s rep later turned out to be her New Jersey based attorney. I was shocked to learn from said attorney that Wrestlers Rescue, after three years in operation, was NOT a registered not-for-profit nor were they willing to open their finance books to the general public or the people in the wrestling business who have helped them raise thousands of dollars in the name of a dying man.*
And so here we are today.
While Dawn’s passion may be viewed by some as admirable, she as the founder and chair of her organization, should be more forthcoming regarding the monies she has raised, nor should she falsely represent herself as a charity, just as she did last week when quoted in a New York Times article.
Is she stating that up until now, the supposed charity has been for profit? If so, who has profited from the proceeds of Wrestlers Rescue?
If not, then why has the non-registered charity been so secretive regarding the proceeds of the monies raised?
Who has actually benefited from anything done by Wrestlers Rescue up to now? Check delivered, bills paid, someone rescued?
I hope that Dawn Marie will address these reasonable questions in a public forum very soon.
* This letter is available upon request in PDF format.