Well, some of you know me and some of you only know the persona here. For those in the latter category, please suspend disbelief for just a moment and consider the following.
I've recently become involved with Cincinnati Golden Gloves/PAL (Police Athletic League) boxing program which focuses on at-risk inner city youth. It's a program that has thrived over the years under the watchful eye of Buddy LaRosa, of pizza fame, who's attempted to keep the great, rich spirit of the city's boxing history alive while reaching kids that truly need a guiding force. No one makes a dime and the kids get top-notch coaching and real, valuable advice about how to deal with the immediate problems of how to survive amidst a poverty stricken upbringing.
Now, hey, we all have our opinions of the pro sport. All valid. This is not that. These kids are busting their asses for nothing except achievement. They get to compete and find self-worth amid some pretty awful circumstances. The program currently ranks #1 in the United States for Golden Gloves/Olympic qualifying boxing programs. Over the past 15 years, we have produced more Olympic boxers than any other program in the United States. One of our kids, RauShee Warren is getting set to go after his unprecedented 3rd Olympic team. Another of our kids, Adrien Broner, is an undefeated pro, twice recently featured on HBO as one of Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy up and coming fighters. RauShee and Adrien still come to the gym, still help out the other kids, still believe. That's a community to be proud of.
Yes, we've lost some kids. Ricardo Willams made some mistakes. Larry Donald was a pro bust. Tony Tubbs is a jackass. But, what is lost in the shuffle are the rest of the kids, hundreds of them, that have used the program well. They've found purpose and a belief that someone gives a damn about them. Once that belief is in place, life matters.
So, the purpose of this post is to invite you all to the largest gathering of amateur boxers in the United States this year. The "Last Chance" Olympic qualifier is being held over the next week, giving over 300 youth boxers a chance to make their dreams come true, right here in the Queen City. Here is some basic information: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Last-Chance-Hotel-and-Ticket-Info.html?soid=1103431944082&aid=rzl72quccQQ
If anyone wants to attend or would like more information, please let me know. My e-mail address is available through my account here. These kids put on a great show and deserve support.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled vulgar snark.....