FINALLY…The Sock can stop bothering you! Actually, it wasn’t that bad, was it? I know I was pretty steady with the plugs for RAINN and the raffle for an entire month. But when it was all said and done, YOU raised almost $60,000 to help survivors of sexual violence*, AND you helped create awareness about a subject that is difficult for most people to speak of, let alone do something about.
At the beginning of the raffle, I wrote that we would need about 2,500 entrants to meet my hopes for a very successful event. That’s almost exactly what we got! I really can’t thank all of you enough for the generosity to give of yourselves at a really tough financial time; knowing that the odds of winning were extremely small, but that the act of giving was just as important as the luck of winning. Well, maybe not QUITE as important as winning, but pretty close!
I admit, there was a little part of me – the glass half empty part - that wondered why more people weren’t climbing on board The Hardcore Legend’s raffle train, especially with the incredible Grand Prize I’d assembled – with A LOT of help from WWE. But I stopped looking at that glass half-empty a couple of weeks ago, and thought instead of how many of you were entering, tweeting, re-tweeting or spreading the word through some other means. We had almost FIVE HUNDRED new entrants on the last day of the raffle alone – with many of them making purchases of hundreds of dollars in raffle tickets. So many of the messages I received were of a similar sentiment: “I hope I win, but if not, I’m happy the money is going to a great cause.” By the end of the raffle, I had not only stopped looking at the glass as half-empty, but had come to see it as almost overflowing with good cheer!
Even though the raffle drawing is officially over, I won’t feel like my job is done until the winner of the raffle - a very excited young man from Ontario, Canada, is heading north on a plane from Miami, after having the best Wrestlemania experience imaginable. Honestly, I thought the winner was going to come from the UK, where we had so much support and interest. I hope that all of you, from around the world, will consider entering again next time. Our winner and his guest have agreed to let us film the raffle-winning festivities during the weekend, and I hope that I can use the footage to let others see and feel the majesty of the occasion; to let them see that people really do win – and that the possibility of winning a future raffle is only a small purchase away. I’m already thinking of ways to make next year’s raffle EVEN better, and am hoping that I can combine forces with The Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels to form some sort of a Super-raffle for a winner and THREE guests to have the adventure of a lifetime in New York City and New Jersey. I know HBK’s raffle this year is likely to bring in quite a bit more than mine, but I really believe the two of us together can make a combined effort bigger than the sum of its parts – and really show the world what a difference our sports-entertainment world can make. WWE was so good to both of us to make our raffles a reality, but I’m hoping that next year, they will embrace the idea with even more enthusiasm – making it accessible to even more of the WWE Universe.
I KNOW I’m going to leave out a few people here, but there are so many people to thank – and I’d really like to name as many as I can, instead of just the blanket “thanks”.
Thanks to the WWE’s lovely Sue Achison for making the Mania tickets HOF and Axxess tickets a reality. Did you know that Sue let me sit at the WWE table at the USO Gala in DC last year, even though I was obviously not an official part of the company? But, somehow, I was always part of the extended, dysfunctional WWE family. Thanks to Chelsea, Kate, Alyssa and Scott and all the members of my RAINN family. Keep doing what you do. Thank you Eve Torres, for wading into this this thing with me, and for being a great partner - even after breaking my Broski’s heart. Thanks to the assorted, eclectic group of WWE Superstars and Divas, Impact wrestlers and Knockouts who got the word out via the miracle of Twitter and other means: CM Punk, Chris Jericho, Zack Ryder, Beth Phoenix, The Bella Twins (who I absolutely adore) Paul Bearer, Kharma, David Otunga, Randy Orton, Joey Styles, William Regal. AJ, Natalya, Stacy Keibler (yes, we stay in touch)Billy Corgan (honorary wrestler, shredder of Stratocasters and Smasher of Pumpkins)JBL, Shelly Martinez, Lilian Garcia, Good ol’ JR, Tommy Dreamer, Kurt Angle, Jeremy Borash, Colt Cabana, Daffney ODB, DDP. Shawn Grande (Boston Celtics radio hunk) Richelle Carey (CNN Headline News achor) Kadee Strickland (incredible actress, even better person) Hurricane Helms, J-E- Ha ha-Double F, J-A-Ha ha, double R, Ha ha, Double T – Jeff Jarrett, Dee Snider, Jill Thompson (illustrator of two of my WWE books) Velvet Sky (initiator of naughty motor-boating incident) Shawn Michaels, The Blue Meanie, Maria, Bret hart, Matt Hardy, The Miz, X-Pac, Lance Storm, Wade Barrett, Lita, Melina, Maryse, MVP, Trish Stratus and Al Snow. Wait, come to think of it, Al Snow did NOT tweet about the raffle. Not even once. My bad.
I KNOW I’m missing some people. But clearly, there was no shortage of people willing to help, and no shortage of me nagging them to help me. But, hey, on this, the 18th anniversary of the loss of my right ear (still March 16th on the west coast) I think I’ve earned the right to badger people once a year when I think the cause calls for it. And I felt like this cause called for it.
Wait, I remember now one of the people I left out. You! Because none of this happens without your support. Thanks so much.
* If you, or someone you know is a survivor of sexual violence, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE or log onto the RAINN's online hotline at http://rainn.org Information on rape, sexual assault and incest, as well as information on how to donate or volunteer can also be found at http://rainn.org