WWE pro wrestlers help raise money for Albany children’s program

March 18, 2017 11:24 PM

ALBANY - One word comes to mind for Josh Malo after meeting WWE pro wrestlers Apollo Crews and Mickie James.

“Awesome!” Malo said.

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While the pair were in Albany for a show at the Times Union Center Saturday, the wrestling superstars hosted a ticketed meet and greet at the Hilton hotel during the afternoon to help raise money for the South End Children's Cafe.

“I feel like giving back to the community in any kind of way is the most awesome thing every and it makes me feel great,” Crews said.

The after school program provides free, healthy dinners for 50-60 kids in Albany's South End community every day as well as recreational activities and academic support.

“They give us healthy food, healthy snacks when we come in the door,” said Brianna Roberts, who attends the after school program.

“It's expensive to buy healthy food, it's expensive to buy produce,” said South End Children’s Café Director Tracie Killar. “And so we, because we care so much about food justice and food equality, we focus on the healthy foods. So we really need people to help us feed everybody,” she said.

As both a mother and someone who relies on good health to be a pro wrestler, that is something Mickie James can appreciate.

“As far as the brain development and their minds, it’s such like a imperative time for kids as they're growing and developing and obviously good foods help with all of that,” James said.

Since opening in 2015, the South End Children's Cafe has served over 14-thousand dinners to children in the community.

“You need to have exercise and good stuff in your body so you can move around and stuff,” said Zy’era Kalter, who also attends the after school program.  

Josh's mom, Carolyn, said her son and husband are huge wrestling fans and Saturday’s event was a good cause she was happy to support.

“It's always good to raise money for kids in the region and just the opportunity really to meet the wrestlers,” Carolyn Malo said.

“We got set up on a great platform to inspire others and motivate others for whatever the purpose is. You know I think it's good to use that in a positive way, especially when kids are involved,” Crews said.

The meet and greet event raised close to $1,300, which will benefit the South End Children's Café.


Nia Hamm

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