How would you like Mick Foley to mow your lawn?
It’s gonna cost you. Pro wrestler and Setauket resident Foley has launched a Twitter campaign and fundraising drive to support the nonprofit organization RAINN, which named him a board member earlier this year. For a $5,000 donation, Foley has offered to mow your lawn.
Foley’s “10 for RAINN” (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) campaign began in April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and will continue through to Mother’s Day with the hope of raising $100,000 for the charity. As of Monday, he’s raised about $80,000. While he urges a $10 donation, there are a few big-ticket items for those who can give more.
If a mowed lawn isn’t your idea of proper reward, you can opt to spend two hours of time with the hardcore legend, whether it’s birthday parties, weddings, bar or bat mitzvahs, or just enjoying a bite to eat. Donors on the $250 level will receive a phone call from Foley, while $100 gets a personally signed picture.
“One of the problems a subject like ours has is that it’s not something that people feel good about and get behind as a cause of choice,” he said. “Nobody wears a shirt that says ‘I was raped.’ Sexual violence seems to be something that people deal with and move on from. And I’m hoping that by creating awareness we might be able to create an opening among corporations and A-list celebrities who will not be as hesitant to embrace a subject that is very sobering.”
Is RAINN concerned with using someone with a somewhat violent occupation as a spokesman for an anti-violence organization? Not at all, according to RAINN president Scott Berkowitz.
“I think the moment you meet Mick you realize he’s a guy [whose] heart is in the right place and he’s ready to help wherever he can help,” Berkowitz said.
Foley himself wondered about that, too.
“I asked them about that, especially when they asked me to serve on their board. ‘Are you sure you want me to serve as a public face of this great organization?’” he said. “I think they felt that although I was an unlikely ally, that I was a really effective one.”
Berkowitz also believes having Foley involved is an asset in bringing male attention to the issue.
“There’s so many issues out there competing for attention it’s hard to get people to pay attention when they don’t think it’s directly relevant to them,” he said. “To have a guy like Mick, who’s a role model for boys and men, he’s someone they completely trust and it makes them pay attention. And it makes the public see that this is not in any way a women’s issue, this is a crime issue, and we all have a role in stopping crime.”
In the final week of the campaign, Foley will be opening up an online auction to meet the $100,000 goal. The items up for bid are, according to Foley, “a wrestling fan’s dream, the type of things where under any other circumstance I’d hold onto for a lifetime.”
Those items include his favorite pair of wrestling boots, which were a part of his most famous matches; one of the two Mankind masks; an original manuscript of his recent book ; and, if the bidding gets high enough, his original Cactus Jack and Dude Love outfits.
Foley hopes it’s the lawn mowing offer that will pushes the campaign over its goal – and hopes it comes from someone in the Three Village area.
“I know it’s a tough economy,” he said, “but if someone has some spare money for a good cause it would mean a lot to me, and to RAINN, for that to happen in my home town.”