I believe you're well acquainted with our work and mission. If you aren't here's a quick reminder: we're the charity that serves professional wrestlers and people in need simutaneously. We support them as much as we humanly can through charitable donations, promotion, fundraising, and good will. We also (and this has been left in the dark, somewhat) work for you--the average wrestling fan, because quite frankly, wrestling fans invest in this business, and there wouldn't be much of a business without the consumer.
So, whenever I or Amanda (Chief Communications) or Emmanuel (head brand ambassador), says something along the lines of "this is your charity", its because it is. This is your charity. This is a completely grassroots movement that started as a means to help a specific tag team in Matt and Nick Jackson, but it became very evident very quickly that there's far more work to do, and we'd be doing ourselves and you a disservice by being just another cash-cow for The Young Bucks. We took the simple idea of investing your donations into the men and women who put their bodies on the line for us in the ring and expanded it to help other people in the pro wrestling business. We also used our platform to help you.
If you ask me, Matt Harrigan, what this foundation is about, I'll tell you it's about the wrestlers, the needy, and the fans. I, personally, am not looking for any type of significant recognition. My depression and anxiety affects my ego and self worth in a fairly negative sense, admittedly, but I'm never trying to use what we've all built into The Superkick Foundation as a means to bring attention upon myself. To be honest, I take very, very minimal credit for the success of all of this. When you think about it--I'm merely the person with the ideas that people seem to subscribe to. I'm like Bray Wyatt, and the rest of you are the very fireflies which bring those ideas to life. Without you, there is no us. We will never, ever, forget that. We, not me, are the ones responsible for building a movement and ushering in an unknown side of wrestling fans that most didn't even know existed: the generous side, the kind side, the charitable side.
There's always talk about wrestling fans as a bunch of bullies, or a bunch of "marks" who don't know the business, or even a bunch of sexists. Years ago, wrestling fans were looked down upon as illerate hillbillies by many corporate organizations. However, the emergence of The Superkick Foundation, which includes all of your retweets, your efforts to make get us known, your donations, your follows, your efforts to get pro wrestlers involved, and a bunch of efforts that don't get the proper recogntition, is proving naysayers that we're not those negative types of fans. Do they exist? Absolutely. But without your generosity, this foundation is still a yearly fundraiser on GoFundMe. I recently read an article about a polarizing movement and its founder, and this whole notion about planting seeds was brought up. To steal a thought for a moment--we've planted the seeds for charitable deeds in the business. One of our biggest supporters, an outstanding up and coming pro wrestler said that he was gateful for us for providing a blueprint of sorts to allow wrestlers and fans to be more charitable. That's what we have to be grateful for.
2016 was a year that started with a bang--the first "Bucks for Vets" event, in which we surprised homeless and low-income veterans with a pizza dinner and free clothes. I'll never forget Joe, for example, a gentleman who was confident he could beat Brock Lesnar, or Michael, who had a son who loved pro wrestling and we hooked him up with a free shirt of the Young Bucks doing the first ever Meltzer Driver, or the lovely elderly couple who wore their "IndyTaker: Lord of Markness" shirt with pride.
With your help and unending support, we were the only pro-wrestling entity who donated funds to help the victims of the horrific Pulse Nightclub Massacre, which saw the early deaths of a number of homosexual indiviuals. We had two words for the world which will always remain relevant--#SuperkickHate--and off of those words we raised nearly $700 for the families and victims of that unspeakable act. It was a gamble to fundraise for them, but the message we sent to these people was very simple: pro wrestling has your back, and always will.
We pulled off fantastic partnerships with the Young Bucks, the reason for this organization and an incredible family whom I consider friends of mine, The Solomonster, who has always been there for publicity and brought some much-needed attention to us, and even our first partnership with a pro wrestling company, CHIKARA, which is in the midst of culminating in February for National Pro Wrestling Day.
And, not to forget, we raised an incredible amount of money for this year's Superkick the Holidays--the most we've ever raised. We've raised money from generous fans in diverse areas of the world--the people from The Bronx, North Carolina, even the United Kingdom, and even Japan! We're part of a special movement fueled by love, positivity, togetherness, and pro wrestling. We're using your donations to help the homeless in an an amazing event by the end of the month, while using some remainder donations to help pro wrestlers in need. I didn't do it. The Board didn't do it; you did. We did.
2017 is going to be an incredible year, filled with opportunity and growth. We're going to do things we never thought we'd do (such as getting followed by Kenny Omega *wink*), and we're going to expand this foundation in big ways, starting with National Pro Wrestling Day. Without your loyalty, without the Melissa L Dorks, or the Rens, or the Emmanuels, or the Allan Burrows of the world, we wouldn't be where we are now. We're welcoming more people into what we consider an exclusive club of wrestling fans--an elite one, should I say: the Agents of Charity.
We're going to take over the world, fellow Agents. We're going to show people who need a hand that we'll be there for them, and we're going to do what we do best: make a difference.
So thank you for all that you've done for us, and I hope you're strapped in for a hell of a ride this year.
Matt Harrigan, Founder & CEO, The Superkick Foundation, Inc.