Former professional wrestler to speak at Beaty later this month

The time is now.

That’s the message of the presentation scheduled for students at Beaty Warren Middle School later this month.

The program, organized by parent and PTO member Alicia Gatto, is an effort to address big ticket issues among students like bullying, suicide prevention, substance abuse, goal setting, dreaming big, making positive choices, and achieving your highest potential.

The former WWC and WWE wrestling champion is in a unique position to connect with students, said Gatto.

“As a native of Warren and a mother of four young children, I am concerned and saddened about the growing drug epidemic as well as the bullying that takes place in our community.”

Gatto took to the fundraising website to raise the money to bring Mero and his positive message to Warren in November. Of the $4,000 goal, she’s already managed to raise $2,415 online alone. The goal was to raise enough money to make two presentations available on Dec. 21 at Beaty, she said, as well as raise additional funds for follow up support and resources. Ultimately, said Gatto, she’d like to see enough money be raised to bring Mero back in the spring to present to all of the schools in the district. Since going live with the online fundraiser, Gatto has gotten both private donations and sponsorship from local businesses.

Mero’s one hour presentation, scheduled for Dec. 21 at Beaty, will be an opportunity for students to hear a message of hope for a brighter tomorrow, learn how to actively promote atmospheres that don’t allow for relational aggression, drug use, or peer pressure, and think of ways to reach out for help if they are struggling with mental health or substance use issues.

“We are excited to bring our Be Against Destructive Decisions (BADD) program to Warren, Pa.,” Mero said in a press release. “It is through sharing the roller coaster journey of my life – the good and bad decisions I made – that helps students examine their own choices.” As far as the issues at hand, Mero said, “bullying and suicide are out of control. Students need to know that they are not defined by the opinions of others. Words can kill. Instead of being the problem,” he said, he encourages students to be the solution.” We can all be a light in someone’s darkness.”

Contributions to the campaign are welcomed, said Gatto. Visit to donate online or by mailing a check payable to Beaty Warren Middle School PTO Re: Champion of Choices, 2 Third Avenue, Warren, Pa., 16365.