The CACBE - Why? When? Where?
Article by Audrey Quaranta.
Bumps, bodyslams, chops, pins – these are all things we readily associate with the world of professional wrestling. One thing wrestling does not typically bring to mind is animals. Dropkick Depression founder Terra Calaway, however, has great love for both and plans to bridge the two worlds on June 22.
Dropkick Depression is an organization whose purpose is to raise awareness of and support for mental health, and as such their events usually benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. However, Calaway and her fiancé/fellow wrestler Jeff Cannonball both have birthdays in late June and wanted to do something special to celebrate this year, so the power couple decided to shift their focus.
“I wanted this show to be a little more geared toward Jeff and myself since it's technically a ‘birthday’ event,” Calaway explains. “We booked a lot of people that we consider friends, we made sure our close friends and family were coming, and we wanted it to be a cause dear to our hearts. We're both huge animal lovers and felt it was perfect to choose an animal shelter.”
Calaway researched local no-kill facilities and realized the Old Bridge Animal Shelter was the perfect candidate – dedicated, close to home, and in need of our help. “The Old Bridge Animal Shelter often takes in stray and unwanted dogs and cats. We have many great animals in need of loving homes,” says manager Karen Chen.
The small building is indeed packed. There is a dog in almost every run, and some of the cat pens are housing entire litters of kittens. The staff and volunteers work tirelessly to make sure every resident is clean, fed, and cared for.
“I genuinely want to help get some of those animals homes,” says Calaway. “I at least want to help make their stay a little more comfortable with monetary donations, food donations, etcetera.”
Calaway recognizes the unique bond between humans and animals and the positive impact it can have on mental health. “Animals bring the stress and anxiety of mental health down. When I'm having a bad day, cuddling my cat and hearing him purr completely relaxes me. When I'm stressed out, going to the store to buy my pets some new toys and knowing that it'll bring them joy helps me smile,” she says. “Animals have a way of knowing when you're down and out and being there for you without a single word. I'm forever thankful for my furbabies and am happy to try and help their distant relatives.”
Coming to the Old Bridge Knights of Columbus on June 22 and having a blast is a great way to help the cause, but if you want to do a little extra, “We can always use donations of cat and dog wet or dry food, or cleaning supplies at the shelter. Even small donations help!” says Chen.
“A great way that people can help the shelter and adoptions is to like our Facebook page and share posts of animals up for adoption along with posts of lost dogs and cats we have taken in and are trying to reunite with their families.”
Of course, fans and community members are also encouraged to visit the shelter in person and possibly take home a new best friend!
The Calaway & Cannonball Birthday Extravaganza kicks off at 7pm on June 22 at 61 Pine Street, Old Bridge, NJ.