Ex-pro wrestler aids local woman

Foley has taken Erin Kelly ‘under his wing’

Erin Kelly first met wrestling hall of famer Mick Foley at an Altoona Curve game three years ago, and they began a friendship that has continued ever since.

It’s only fitting, then, that Foley will be back for another Curve game Monday night trying to help his friend raise money for a much-needed cause.

Kelly, a 34-year-old author from Altoona, was born with cerebral palsy. Her family once owned a wheelchair-accessible van, but it was totaled in an accident six years ago.

The family has gone without such a van since the accident, and Erin is raising money to buy another one.

Her fundraiser is called Erin’s Ride. So far it has raised $18,400 of the $30,000-plus needed to purchase a van, including a recent large donation of $10,000.

“This fundraiser means the world to me,” Erin said. “It’s not just about raising money or hopefully achieving a personal goal of buying a wheelchair-accessible van.

“It’s really about having everyone who’s had a hand in this effort coming together and doing something good. I think it’s also about showing others what can be done when there’s positive energy behind it and that you don’t have to be famous to truly make an impact.”

The Curve’s game Monday night at 6:30 against Hartford at Peoples Natural Gas Field will feature an appearance by Foley, a member of the WWE Hall of Fame. The famous wrestler has been promoting his appearance heavily on social media, with the goal of helping Erin raise money.

“I am very excited to help my friend and fellow author Erin Kelly try to reach her goal of securing a wheelchair-accessible van,” Foley said.

“I first met Erin at a Curve game, so it seems like the perfect place to try to bring her team to raise funds. I hope fans will turn out to support a great cause and root the Curve on to victory.”

Fans can donate $50 for a VIP meet and greet with Foley during Monday’s game or $20 for the general meet and greet. The packages can be purchased at the ballpark or by phone at 877-99-CURVE.

“I started a GoFundMe campaign in May in hopes of raising a little bit of money for my van, and my family and the entire community kept it going,” Kelly said. “I never, ever could have imagined what it has turned into.

“My heartfelt gratitude goes out to Mick Foley for his incredible generosity and unwavering support, along with my friends and Betsy Lehman, who helped me get this whole thing off the ground.”

Erin’s mother, Debbie Kelly, called Foley “an amazing person” who has been such a good friend for her daughter. Erin even has been invited by Foley to visit him at a couple of his speaking engagements.

“He’s taken Erin under his wing, and they communicate constantly,” Debbie Kelly said.

When it came to helping raise money for the van, Foley was totally on board.

“He said, ‘Erin, I will do anything for you. How about you get me a venue, and I’ll come there. We met at the Curve, so I’ll come back to the Curve,'” Debbie Kelly said.


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