SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) - WWE superstar CM Punk surprised CBA baseball coach Tom Dotterer in the hospital on Sunday, while friends held a fundraiser for him at the Pastime Athletic Club.Dotterer was shot in the eye in January during a robbery at his liquor store
The 77-year-old was admitted back into the hospital on Saturday for emergency surgery related to his injuries.
Dotterer’s family told NewsChannel 9 that he is doing well and is expected to be released in a few days.
Back in February, Dotterer's story drew the attention of the WWE, which offered him front row tickets and a meet-and-greet with his favorite wrestler, CM Punk,
at Sunday night’s event at the War Memorial.
Recovering at the hospital and unable to attend, CM Punk surprised Dotterer in his hospital room before the show.
WWE fans at the show told NewsChannel 9 that they hope Dotterer gets well soon.
"I hope a speedy recovery and it’s tragic that he couldn't be here. I thought it was really open-minded of Punk to extend the invitation,” said WWE fan Chris Cambareri.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the city, the Pastime Athletic Club hosted a fundraiser for Dotterer. Hundreds of people attended.
"He does more things for people in this neighborhood that people would never ever know about,” said long-time friend Jerry Wilcox. "They need to give to him now because he's given them so much."
Dotterer, not one for attention, is insisting that money raised from the fundraiser is donated to the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center. Some of his family members plan to encourage Dotterer to at least use some of the money for security upgrades to his liquor store.
During the fundraiser, Dotterer’s son Henry read a letter that Dotterer wrote in the hospital. In it, he thanked everyone for their support.
With his favorite wrestler in mind, Dotterer also took the opportunity to ask for forgiveness from those he may have “sarcastically ripped apart, had opinionated exchanges with or failed to help in time of need.”
"And if the forgiveness in not forthcoming, I might ask a special favor of CM Punk to visit you personally,” said Dotterer in his letter.
All kidding aside, Dotterer ended with a heartfelt message:
"I've been blessed with wonderful acquaintances for over 70 years and it's unfortunate that it took the loss of some of my vision to see much clearer what I should have appreciated beforehand. One shouldn't have to lose an eye to recognize the dearness and closeness of friend."