Thank you Georgiann for keeping your Chatterbox going and for the great following of good, respectful people who follow and read my column. The letters and emails that come to me from fellow Chatterboxers is always touching and heartfelt. I often get questions about how I went from Wild Samoan to "Pops" and about the wrestling business, my family in wrestling and my advice and comments for this young generation who are entering into the world of our great sport. I welcome all your letters because I have always enjoyed being in contact with wrestling fans.
I do want to talk about one letter that I just received from a fellow Chatterboxer. The letter is from Mr. Jim McKnight who reads my column each month. He was touched by my March/April column and took the time to write me a very emotional letter. He talked about Usos Foundation and the work that we do and how he wishes there was a program available in his youth that he believes would have given him other options and choices in his life.
He also sent me a copy of a letter that he wrote to Vince McMahon expressing his feelings as an old school fan and his thoughts on how the legends should be treated. Finally, he enclosed a check to Usos in the amount of $3.00. Jim read in my column that if all wrestling fans would send a one dollar donation to Usos, the work that could be done would be amazing.
So you may be thinking why I am so touched by what Jim McKnight did and why his donation is so well received by Usos, well its because Jim is currently an inmate at a prison in Pennsylvania. His money is very limited and he shared with Usos the little he had from his heart. When my wife was reading me Jim's letter I was thinking of a story from the bible when Jesus asked who gave more; the rich man who gave thousands to the collection plate or the poor woman who gave less than a dollar. The men responded that the rich man obviously gave more, but Jesus said that it was the poor woman, for that tiny bit of money was all she had. So with all my heart Jim, I thank you for your kindness and support to Usos Foundation. You are a true wrestling fan and may God protect and bless you.
I have been getting several questions from fans asking about the upcoming Usos fundraising banquet on Thursday, August 6th. I will attach the information in this column so that I can share it with all of you. I did want to add that the banquet program will include a meet and greet with me and a gift picture. Complete dinner, cash bar, scholarship presentation, dessert, silent auction and a Samoan floor show featuring the top knife/fire dancers in the world. Celebrity guest include my nephew Rikishi, my former student Snisky, Haku, Ricky Santana, Rocky Johnson, myself and brother Sika. Other names are being added as schedules allow and will be posted in my next months column. Please note that the event is for charity and seating is limited with the RSVP and ticket purchase by mid June. Those who need additional information can contact email@example.com
On a final note, some of my Usos kids will be part of the camp that is being held at the Wild Samoan Training Center in Florida from June 23 through the 26th when WWE Vice President of talent relations John Laurinaitis will be attending to evaluate talents for possible developmental futures. For those of you who have the dream to make it to the next level in your career, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how you could be part of this camp.
Thank you and God Bless.
Afa The Wild Samoan "Pops"
God is Good all the time
The word "Usos", in the Samoan language, loosely translated, means "We are Brothers" or more loosely translated, "We are all Family".
The Usos Foundation was created to offer a fun and supervised way for our youth to receive education through sports. Professional wrestling is loved by so many people and, through the celebrity of my husband, Afa "The Wild Samoan", and his place, together with his brother Sika, in the history of the sport, we have been privileged to be the guiding light for good in so many lives.
The Foundation is very important to us, not just because we value the lives of our youth but because we have been so blessed in our own lives, and this is our way to give back. Usos not only offers wrestling instruction, which is the lure that first attracts the youth, both young boys and girls, but we also focus on education, self-esteem, and the whole healthy mind-body-spirit connection.
Through the direction, mentoring and consistent encouragement provided by Usos, we have had students go on to become high school principals, corporate professionals, communication experts, politicians, and other successful careers that might not have been possible for most of these kids due to a lack of focus and direction during their early, more formative years.
Now, as our economy slows, and budgets tighten, it is even more important for Usos to be able to continue offering positive programs to keep our youth motivated and headed in the right direction. For those of you who have been with us from the beginning, we cannot thank you enough for all the support that you have given Usos throughout the years. For those of you who may not be familiar with our Foundation, we invite you to join us, and find out firsthand, about the worthwhile nature of our charitable cause.
At this time, Usos is proud to mark this, its 10th anniversary year, with its first annual fundraising banquet to be held in Celebration, Florida, on Thursday, August 6, 2009. While you’re here, the Orlando area is home to Disney World, Seaworld, Universal and MGM Studios as well as many vacation and casino hotels, and Celebration is right in the heart of the all these attractions. Usos’ Tenth Anniversary Celebration Banquet and a trip to Disney World, too! What a great reason and wonderful time for you to come celebrate with us!
Attached to this email is our announcement, which is also your invitation. Please join us for this important event. Your personal appearance and that of all our family and friends is really important to making this event the success it needs and deserves to be. If you are unable to join us in person, please mail your fully tax-deductible donation payable to Usos Foundation at P.O. Box 2291 Minneola, Florida 34755 or, if you prefer, you can visit our Web site at www.usosfoundation.org to donate by credit card, or pay for your tickets or table, using the Internet-secure PayPal payment system. All those who donate $100 or more will be acknowledged in print, in the Celebration Souvenir Program to be distributed at the Event. All those donating $500 or more will also be publicly honored with a suitably framed goldleaf and parchment paper "Certificate of Recognition" for their "Important Contribution to Ensure the Growth, Care and Development of Our Most Valuable Asset: Our Young" signed and sealed on behalf of "Usos, The Samoan Family Foundation" by Afa Anoa'i as Founder and Chairman, and by Lynn Anoa'i, as President and Chief Executive.
Please R.S.V.P. as soon as possible, to confirm your attendance, and reserve your tickets or purchase a table. Your reservation, along with local travel directions, will be confirmed by return email. Seating is limited, and we would love to have you be part of this very special and very exciting night!
Usos-The Samoan Family Foundation
First Annual Fundraising Banquet
Date: Thursday, August 6, 2009
Time: 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Location: Celebration Golf Club in Celebration, FL
Usos-The Samoan Family Foundation will be hosting our First Annual Banquet fundraiser to benefit our scholarship programs. Tickets are $100, of which $50 is tax-deductible, and include dinner, dessert and scholarship presentation along with a silent auction, entertainment and celebrity guests. This is a blessed evening for two special reasons. Not only is it the birthday of our beloved Auntie Lia Maivia to whom Afa “The Wild Samoan” Anoa`i credits along with her husband High Chief Peter Maivia to be the pioneers who gave Afa his start in passing the torch to him in his pro wrestling career, but Usos will establish a scholarship in the memory of Lia Maivia, and Usos will also be receiving a scholarship from Fritz and Pamela Fedele, the parents of Adam Carreras in his memory, who they lost last year in a tragic car accident.
Tickets are limited, and for all seating and ticket inquiries, please email email@example.com.
Phone: (352) 988-5499
P.O. Box 2291
Minneola, FL 34755
*Usos means “brothers” in Samoan.