WrestleMania Weekend Raises $100,000 for Children's Organizations
WWE and its business partners raised $50,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Gallery Furniture Company of Houston, at an exhibition organized by WWE on March 30, kicked off pre-WrestleMania festivities by donating $25,000 of the total donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. During WWE AXXESS, the three-day fan festival at Reliant Hall that preceded WrestleMania X-Seven at Reliant Park, WWE and its fans raised another $25,000 through donations, and by the auctioning of several items of WWE memorabilia and personal encounters with WWE Superstars. Highlights of the fundraising efforts were the opportunity to eat pie with The Rock, have lunch in the ring with Superstar and Olympic gold medallist Kurt Angle and have a Mr. Socko (a tube sock puppet) personalized by Superstar and best-selling author Mick Foley. (Video of these events is available by satellite feed. Please see Editor’s Note below.)
WWE also donated $50,000 to the Houston Chronicle’s Readers Are Leaders, an educational campaign to donate newspapers to local schools to encourage reading and to educate students on current affairs. On Friday, March 30, WWE Superstars visited two Houston high schools to speak to students about the value of education and goal setting to achieve their dreams.
"WWE and its fans have always been generous," said Linda McMahon, CEO of World Wrestling WWE Entertainment. "We are very pleased to provide our fans with a great time at WrestleMania X-Seven and our fan festival, WWE AXXESS, as well as an opportunity to support efforts that benefit children. We have been a long-time partner with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Our support of the Readers Are Leaders program is consistent with the national educational initiatives we are currently developing, and allows us to give something back to the Houston community, which has been so supportive during WrestleMania X-Seven."
In 2000, The Rock received the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Chris Grecius Celebrity Wish Granter of the Year Award for granting the wishes of nearly 200 disabled or terminally ill children through a program organized by WWE.
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