Pro wrestlers are mainly known for the weight they throw around in the ring. Turns out they have quite a bit that they put to use outside of it as well. Wrestlers 4 Haiti, a group hastily put together with great cooperation and organization by pro wrestler Kia Stevens, a.k.a. "Awesome Kong," and about two dozen of her compatriots, has already raised over $6,000 for the relief efforts in that earthquake-ravaged country-and counting.
The primary fundraiser was an event at a club in Lancaster, PA on January 15, where Stevens and friends entertained, mingled with fans and concerned citizens, and took pledges throughout the evening. Those unable to attend were encouraged to contribute via PayPal.
"My good friend, DJ Seth Gold, is from Harrisburg and he and I have put on parties together before," Stevens said. "I landed there for a wrestling event on Thursday and he texted me, wanting to know if I wanted to put on a benefit for Haiti." The idea was certainly a good one, but Stevens realized time was of the essence.
"I said it was a fantastic idea, but they need help NOW," she said, recalling the moment. "So I suggested that we put together something the next day, and whatever we raise, we raise."
Because of the short notice, Stevens had modest hopes. "I figured if we even just raised $500, that would help. It would buy some water or something." But enter fellow wrestler Mick Foley, who told the newly-named "Wrestlers 4 Haiti" that he would match whatever funds were raised, up to $2,500. "That gave us a goal," Stevens said.
After a day-and-a-half of whirlwind promotional efforts, including quickly arranged appearances on radio shows, Wrestlers 4 Haiti-about 24 pro wrestlers all told-mobilized through social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook and got the word out. A PayPal address was set up for those who wanted to contribute online. And the cash is still coming in.
"We’re still getting pledges via PayPal," Stevens said. "And we’ll continue soliciting donations until the situation in Haiti stabilizes," she added. The funds are being turned over to the American Red Cross.
Wrestlers 4 Haiti isn’t the only cause that Stevens is involved with; she’s also the founder of Fountains for Youth, a nonprofit that aims to help teens with at-risk situations utilizing peer influence. Pledges for the Wrestlers 4 Haiti fundraising drive can still be made via PayPal, using Wrestlers4Haiti@gmail.com.