Center-stage over SummerSlam weekend is WWE's Get R.E.A.L. program. The program brings Superstars and Divas into schools to deliver positive messages about the tenets of respect, education, achievement and leadership. Superstar The Miz and Diva Eve will meet with more than 500 teens from Los Angeles on Thursday at Santee High School to talk about these themes, using clips from WWE Studios' upcoming (Sept. 10) family-friendly movie, "Legendary," starring Patricia Clarkson, Danny Glover and WWE Superstar John Cena.
On Friday, WWE and the Los Angeles Mayor's office are partnering to host the second annual SummerSlam Day of Service. WWE Superstars Evan Bourne and John Morrison and Divas Nikki and Brie Bella will join Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and local volunteers to paint wall murals at three housing projects in Los Angeles. WWE Superstar Rey Mysterio will join local nonprofits to host the Fatherhood and Mentoring Rally in support of an initiative President Obama announced earlier this year. Later that night, WWE and the Muscular Dystrophy Association will kick off MDA's "Make a Muscle, Make a Difference" campaign at the SummerSlam VIP Party. WWE Superstar Triple H has joined MDA's Muscle Team, along with Alison Sweeney, host of "The Biggest Loser"; former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner; Booboo Stewart, star of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"; Nancy O' Dell, former "Access Hollywood" host; Wynonna Judd, country music recording artist; and Brandon Barash, star of ABC's "General Hospital," among others to raise awareness of MDA.
The following day, WWE Superstar Matt Hardy and Diva Layla will host the SummerSlam Reading Rally at Lincoln Heights Library. To drive literacy among children, kids who attend the reading rally must show their library cards in exchange for autographs. As a testament to the power of WWE, local libraries have reported increases of up to 30% in requests for library cards around these rallies. Teens who attend will also learn how to participate in WWE's annual WrestleMania Reading Challenge held in conjunction with the national Teen Read Week in October. Students in grades 5 through 12 work with their school and public libraries to compete for free trips to WrestleMania XXVII in Atlanta on April 3, 2011, and to win money for their libraries.
Also on Saturday and Sunday at SummerSlam Axxess, WWE's interactive fan experience at L.A. Live, volunteers will be on hand to encourage attendees to register to vote as part of WWE's nonpartisan Smackdown Your Vote! Initiative. Volunteers will also distribute the "2010 Smackdown Your Vote! National Voter Issues Paper for 18 to 30 Year Olds." This document was developed in partnership with the League of Women Voters, Harvard Institute of Politics, Rock the Vote, the University of Virginia Youth Leadership Initiative, Sacred Heart University, Student PIRGs New Voters Project, Mobilize.org, CIRCLE and Cable in the Classroom. This initiative helps guide today's youth formulate questions to ask and ponder when voting. More than 20,000 are expected to attend SummerSlam Axxess, which is made possible by our partners Mattel, Topps, Slim Jim, 7-Eleven, Twix, THQ and the National Guard.
For more than 25 years, WWE has had a strong partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. WWE Superstar and Make-A-Wish Ambassador John Cena is approaching his 200th wish this fall, marking only the fourth person to achieve this milestone. As part of SummerSlam weekend, he will grant more wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. This partnership was further strengthened this summer as Cena took part in 7-Eleven's annual Coffee Cup for a Cause campaign. Cena designed a cup, and a portion of the purchase proceeds from this national initiative go directly to the Make-A-Wish Foundation with a guaranteed $250,000 donation.
So when you and your family tune in to SummerSlam, remember that the in-ring action is only part of WWE's story.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR|
Gary Davis is VP-global public affairs for World Wrestling Entertainment. For more information on SummerSlam and WWE's In Your Corner initiative, visit www.wwe.com.