My wife, Sarah Deming, has been working with young boxers for over two years. It's very moving to to go the gym and see some of the fights. Take it away, Sarah:
Please help my boxing gym this holiday season! We are raising money to get an internet connection for our tutoring center, send our team to the National Championships in Reno and Spokane, and buy conditioning equipment.
Atlas Cops and Kids is a privately funded 501(c)3, doing positive, lifesaving work in the communities of Staten Island and Brooklyn. Every dollar helps. (And if you know someone getting rid of a commercial treadmill or weights, send them our way.)
Heavyweight Earl “Flash” Newman, 21, plays piano and hears music when he fights. Boxing less than four years, Earl has already beat the best in the country. This year he won the New York City, National, and World Golden Gloves heavyweight titles. “I feel like I have no limits,” says Earl.
Jay Allen, 19, started boxing to lose weight and ended up studying with us to realize a lifetime dream of going into the Navy. Although Jay’s mother passed away this Thanksgiving, we are encouraging Jay to pursue her dream despite these new challenges.
Kevin Santiago, 15, has learned through boxing the inner strength to stand up to bullies. He told the Moral Courage Project about it here.
Tray Grant Franklin, 20, was the first boxer I tutored at our gym. He was lighthearted, charismatic, and had great athletic talent. Together we wrote an essay about the murder of his father that won Tray a $1,000 college scholarship. A few months later, he was shot to death on a stoop in Brownsville, the victim of a street beef that had nothing to do with him. Many of our boxers compete with Tray’s name on their trunks. He is a reminder of the violence that plagues our communities and of the necessity for programs like ours that keep children off the streets and give them something to strive for.
*** SPECIAL RECOGNITION FOR HEAVYWEIGHT DONORS ***
$1,000 sponsors one of our boxers for a year! You will get a photo, frequent email updates about your athlete, and invitations to see them fight in New York.
$5,000 buys us a commercial treadmill that can take the pounding of fighters doing roadwork all winter. Go down in history among our boxers, who will stare at the plaque that bears your name while they run hill sprints. We are hoping for two working treadmills.
Read more about the gym (and maybe pick out a boxer!) at the Atlas Cops and Kids blog.
(Tray Grant Franklin, 1992-2012)