Mick Foley Web Column (9/06)

COUNTDOWN TO COUNTDOWN: 25 DAYS

Yes, it’s getting down to crunchtime – as it pertains to the release of “Countdown to Lockdown”, and for “Bound for Glory”, which I think may be one of the biggest events in TNA history. I have reason to believe that things are going to start heating up for me real soon on the wrestling front, and my weekly Countdown pieces will reflect that. The columns will also start appearing weekly on Monday instead of Friday, as Friday seems like a day best suited to relecting and analyzing the previous night’s “Impact”, which I don’t tend to do alot of.

So, with a return to the ring a distinct probability, and the biggest show of the year only five weeks away, I am going to take my last opportunity for a while to talk about something near to my heart, but which may not be of particular interest to some of our fans. So if you like your pro-wrestling news free of social commentary, feel free to leave now, and check in next week, when things may be more to your liking. I might have felt the same way when i was a fan; enjoying wrestling for the action and adventure and the escapist qualities, and probably not caring a whole lot about what Jimmy Snuka’s philanthropic interests were. Besides, it’s not as if the subject I will be covering, sexual assault is a particularly cheerful one, which is no doubt a reason why the subject so rarely comes up in conversations of any sort.

Before I ask you to read a column that I original wrote for http://mickfoley.typepad.com , I want to make it clear that I am not asking for donations of any kind, or any kind of contribution of substantial time or energy. I just want people to vote daily for a cause I believe in deeply. Log onto http://www.refresheverything.com/rainn and cast a vote. Hopefully, you can do it every day for about 24 more days..oe, even better, encourage your friends, family, and social networking buddies to do the same. That’s all.

I have been really hesitant in the past to talk freely about my involvement in the fight against sexual violence. After all, it’s kind of a downer; a subject usually discussed just among women or survivors of sexual assault. I write about it in the new book, and hope that journalists will be free to ask me about it, but it hasn’t seemed like the best subject to introduce on my own. People don’t have bracelets on their wrist, or put magnets on their car or wear t-shirts that proclaim their support for causes like this.I haven’t seen any “I was raped” attire out there. But after spending ninety of the most difficult minutes of my life on an online volunteer hotline, attempting to help a teenager who had been through the worst experience imaginable, I made the decision to start becoming a more vocal advocate for the survivors of sexual assault. That experience on the phone was among the most heart-breaking and gut-wrenching experiences of my life…and I wasn’t the victim. So I wrote a column the next day, with that girl in mind. Hopefully, it will make a difference.

09/03/2010

RAINN, ME, YOU, AND THE PEPSI CHALLENGE

Hello everyone. In the past few days, you may have noticed the occasional tweet or Facebook message from me, asking you to vote for RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network) in the Pepsi challenge, which rewards great charitable ideas with substantial financial contributions.

I don’t want to badger anyone, and I know that you are likely already inundated with all kinds of voting requests for various different contests or causes. But before you disregard my tweets and messages, please let me explain briefly, why this idea means so much to me, and why your votes could make such a difference.

I have been involved with RAINN for two years, since meeting the group’s co-founder, Tori Amos, at the 2008 San Diego Comic Con. Many of you might know I am a huge fan of her music (a subject I go into in the new book – my favorite chapter) but after taking the time to learn about RAINN, I have become an even bigger fan of the work she’s done to raise awareness about the huge and overlooked problem of sexual violence in the United States (and around the world).

I’ve really tried to put my money where my mouth is here, donating 100% of my advance royalties to “Countdown to Lockdown” to combating sexual violence – 50% to RAINN, 50% to ChildFund International to set up microloans and scholarships for victims of rape and their children in Sierra Leone.

In January of 2010, I began studying to become a volunteer for RAINN’s online hotline, and have been helping survivors on a one on one anonymous basis on a weekly basis for the past six months.I just found out a few days ago that I had been selected as RAINN”s volunteer of the month – an honor that is as special to me as anything I’ve ever received. Because I truly feel like the work I do with RAINN is as important as anything I have ever done. I know there are alot of great causes out there, but I have seen first hand how far a little bit of money and a little compassion can go in this fight. They do so much within a very limited budget, and therefore, winning a grant from Pepsi, which might be a drop in the bucket to a much larger phianthropic organization, could help RAINN do incredible things. A grant from Pepsi would help RAINN expand their hotline to the Spanish speaking population in the US, a group that right now is underserved and badly in need of help in this struggle. I know that a relatively small ammount of money could go so far in helping so many people. Please help me.

Voting is so easy. Just click onto http://www.refresheverything.com/rainn and vote once a day, or text 102552 to 73774 every day, until the voting ends on September 30th.

I really feel like this is possible..with your help. In the next several days, I will be texting, calling or e-mailing just about every wrestler, singer, actor, athlete or person of note I’ve ever known, asking for their help. I’m going to be persistant, so if you’re out there on Twitter, and have no interest in these type of things, just disregard. I understand. Don’t worry, I will continue to make dumb jokes, and sohpomoric observations – along with the occasional book plug. But I feel like this is my moment to really make a difference. I would love to have your help.

* If you, or anyone you love has been the victim of sexual violence, lease visit http://www.rainn.org

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About Ray Mullan
Ray Mullan is a longtime wrestling fan and Owner/Editor of TNA UK . Also a contributing writer to a number of other online wrestling media including 1Wrestling.com, Wrestle Zone UK & Lords of Pain.

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