PALMDALE – TNA Impact Wrestling Stars Christopher Daniels, Traci Brooks, and Frankie Kazarian flexed their muscles with students at the Palmdale Learning Plaza Tuesday afternoon – for a good cause.
The stars were in town to sign autographs and pose for pictures with fans as part of a fundraising effort to benefit orphans in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
“Time is our most precious thing, and I have no problem donating mine to this cause because it’s a great one,” said Kazarian. “It’s a blessing.”
“To be able to give back like this is awesome,” said Brooks.
The wrestlers did their part to get the final donations needed for the Palmdale Learning Plaza’s school-wide service project.
As an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, Palmdale Learning Plaza (PLP) is required to extend their students’ academic learning beyond intellectual attainment to include thoughtful and appropriate service and action. The IB believes that every student, every year, has the right and the duty to be involved in internationally-minded action. Through service, students grow both socially and personally, developing skills such as cooperation, problem solving, conflict resolution and creative and critical thinking.
“We think of ourselves as global citizens that need to take care of the world,” said Principal Ken Young.
This year, PLP students are learning about Hispaniola, and more specifically, the Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH) orphanage in the Dominican Republic, and the Angels of Light Program in Tabarre, Haiti.
Since November, the school has raised more than $12,000 for both orphanages through Math-a-Thons, Spell-a-Thons, Penny Drives and other fundraising efforts, said seventh grade pre-algebra teacher Melanie Montgomery.
Students have also played a significant role in deciding how the funds have been and will be spent.
Tuesday afternoon, PLP students and parents gathered in the school’s gymnasium to load more than 300 boxes filled with clothes, school supplies, toys and other items onto a 40-foot shipping container, which will set sail to the Dominican Republic Monday.
Students also created letters and cards for the orphans.
“These are for the kids in Haiti that have lost a lot of things during the Earthquake,” said sixth-grader Joshua Pinedo.
“We collected donations around the school so that we can help them out because they need our help,” said seventh grader Jordan Weldon.
Pinedo received a special treat Tuesday, when he got to see the stars of his favorite sport in person.
“Wrestling is pretty cool because you get to watch people fighting and it has a lot of action,” said Pinedo. “That’s what I watch every week.”
Brooks and Kazarian made the trip to Palmdale Learning Plaza at the request of fellow TNA wrestler, Christopher Daniels, whose son and daughter attend Palmdale Learning Plaza.
“When we found out that they were running a little bit short, we volunteered to help out and get the money together,” Daniels said.
In addition to the thrill of seeing their favorite wrestlers, students at Palmdale Learning Center received another treat for their good deeds. Representatives from Hometown Buffet gave away Kids-Eat-Free Passes to all the students.
“We think it’s wonderful what they have done so we brought passes so they all can eat,” said Cindy Kramer, community representative for Hometown Buffett. “They can come in with their families and get a free meal on us.”
Four teachers from the Palmdale Learning Plaza, along with three other educators, will be meeting the recipient of the school’s donations in the Dominican Republic on March 10.
View more pictures from this event on our facebook page.