POSTED: 4:25 a.m. HST, Mar 25, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 4:29 a.m. HST, Mar 25, 2013
NEW YORK » WWE is joining with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Hollywood celebrities and professional athletes to launch Superstars for Sandy Relief.
Fans can bid on hundreds of items in an online auction, including attending a NASCAR race with WWE superstar John Cena, meeting Tyra Banks on the set of "America's Next Top Model," or pitching entrepreneurial ideas to Mark Cuban.
The auction begins today and closes April 9 on charitybuzz.com.
Paul Levesque, executive vice president of talent and live events, better known in the ring as Triple H, says he can't think of a better way to celebrate WWE's annual WrestleMania event than using the group's global reach to assist those in need.
Wrestlemania will be held April 7 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
"It's like a homecoming for us, and since there's still a lot of devastation, we felt the best thing we could do is reach out to not only our own superstars to our celebrity contacts and our sports contacts. There's a lot of people that are fans of the WWE in those worlds," Levesque said.
"Our chairman, Vince McMahon, has a saying that everybody in this company ... their job at the end of the day is to put smiles on people's faces," he said. "It sounds corny and cliche, but it really is how we operate here."
The sports entertainment company is based in Stamford, Conn. The storm last October left millions of people without heat or electricity for weeks in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.
Levesque asked his fellow superstars what they wanted to do for the auction.
"Who would have thought Ryback would say, 'I'll go bowling with someone.' Cena loves NASCAR, so that was more expected," he said.
There will also be a Superstars for Sandy Relief reception at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on April 4, hosted by Sean "Diddy" Combs.
John Carucci covers entertainment for The Associated Press.