Lilian Garcia’s weekend of giving
When she’s not ring announcing and singing for WWE, Lilian Garcia spends time putting smiles on the WWE Universe’s faces. This past weekend she did just that, but for a very special cause dear to her heart.
Garcia went to Akron, Ohio, to visit kids with cancer and help the Akron Children’s Hospital raise money at the 10th Annual LOPen Charity Golf and Music Event, where she sang the National Anthem and even hit the links at the LOPen Celebrity Golf Tournament Outing.
“It’s the first year I’ve been involved in it,” the Diva told WWE.com. "Basically it’s to raise money for the Akron Children’s Hospital. They take care of kids with cancer."
“Friday I visited the kids at the hospital. It was so great, WWE donated a bunch toys, action figures, T-shirts, and I went around and gave them to all the kids and they were just ecstatic,” she said. “Seeing that an action figure would bring such smiles to their faces when they’re going through so much in their lives was unbelievable.”
Garcia took part in a special meet-and-greet Friday evening at the LOPen Charity Concert, which featured Ira Dean and Brother Trouble. She also met famous athletes, including Bret Saberhagen, Jim McMahon, Larry Johnson and others. ( PHOTOS) Saturday morning was the LOPen Celebrity Golf Tournament Outing, and while the Diva didn’t expect to play, she did on a dare.
“I’ve never really played golf; I’ve played putt-putt. What was funny was that I had these high-heeled shoes and someone dared me to do it, and I did better than the rest of the people who were playing!” she laughed. “It was hilarious. I think I might have to take up golf!”
After the golf tournament, Garcia attended another charity concert featuring Bad Company, as well as an auction benefiting the Akron Children’s Hospital.
“WWE donated two packages for a family of four to come to Cleveland in November and they’ll get tickets to the show and be able to go backstage. Each package raised $7,000 for a total of $14,000! It was the most amazing thing,” she explained.
The Diva experienced one very touching moment with one of the patients from Akron Children’s Hospital on Friday. It’s something she will likely never forget.
“The downside of the weekend was that one of the kids, who I actually got to see Friday at his home … they sent him home because the cancer already went to his brain. I got to see him, and I put my hand over his and I said to him, ‘You know, you have a lot of love in this room.’ And he moved his hand and everybody just lost it there because that’s the only response he gave us, that he could hear us.”
Garcia sadly told WWE.com that the boy, Gino, passed away on Sunday.
“I found out that his favorite color is red. I was hosting Raw SuperShow on Monday, filling in for Justin, so I told the family I was going to wear red on Monday night. I did,” she said. “He’s the reason I was wearing red Monday night, for Gino, a very special 10-year-old kid who is now an angel in heaven.”
The Diva said that the weekend “put things in perspective” for her, and she’s already looking forward to next year’s LOPen events.
“It’s absolutely something I’d love to do again. In fact I’ve already been invited to come back every year – not just next year, they said I have to be part of it every year. I’ll happily be part of it. It’s an amazing organization!”
For more information about the 10th Annual LOPen Charity Golf & Music Event, visit lopengolf.com. For more information about Akron Children’s Hospital, visit akronchildrens.org. To donate, cllick here.