PARMA, Ohio — While he wasn’t able to be there in person, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made a virtual appearance at the annual luau celebration for students with special needs at Parma Senior High.
The students enrolled in the Parma Center for Transition Services (P.A.C.T.S.) get the preparation they need for life after school, and after having to cancel the year-end celebration luau for the last two years, special education teacher Katie Vento said “we want to come back and have a rager.”
Vento said they’ve tried to have Cleveland pro athletes attend in the past but haven’t been successful. This year, they decided to go big or go home and try to reach Johnson.
Students shot a video dressed up as characters from Johnson’s most memorable movie roles and started a social media campaign in hopes that he will see it and come party with them this Friday.
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The video racked up over 12,000 views on Facebook, and you-know-who definitely smelled what these students were cooking. Johnson recorded a video for the luau that was played for the students at the high school.
“This message goes out to an awesome group of kids! DJ here, by the way, also known as The Rock, also known La Rocka in Spanish, also known as the big brown bald tattoo guy, also known as Maui. I gotta a lot of nicknames,” Johnson said to open the video. “This message goes out to all of my friends at Parma High School, all the P.A.C.T.S. students at Parma High School. I want to thank you much for the amazing invitation you sent me to come to the luau 2022, the comeback. Thank you so much!”
The wrestler-turned-actor praised the students for their performances, but said, unfortunately, he couldn’t be there today.
“But I am there in spirit, I’m there in love, and I want to say thank you guys so much for the invite,” he said. “I want you guys to have the best time.”
He wished the students the best of luck in continuing to raise funds for their program and gave a special shout-out to the volunteers from the student council and National Honors Society.
“And why the National Honor Society is so appropriate right now is because I, yours truly, was once never part of the National Honor Society, because you guys are way smarter than I am,” Johnson said.
Johnson also praised several of the teachers and volunteers in the effort by name and gave a heartfelt message of encouragement to all the PACTS students.
“I also want to say this, that the best part about all the information that I heard about you guys, the best part is that all of you students have the most gigantic hearts,” he said. ”And that means something to me that you have the biggest hearts in the world. It shows, I can tell, and I could feel it all the way here. So I love you guys. Have an amazing event.”
Given Johnson’s history of philanthropy and activism, he knows a few things about big hearts.
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