The Cranbrook Eagles Boxing Club had the community in their corner for the Charity Challenge.
The sixth annual Charity Challenge was none other than a knockout raising more than $30,000.
“It was another great success,” said Tom White, head coach at Cranbrook Eagles Boxing Club.
Over the six years, the club has been able to raise just under $200,000, while selling out every year. The success of the event has come from it being a good night out for everyone involved.
“We get supported, tremendously, by everybody in the community … it think it’s because all the money raised goes back to local families and people in need,” explained White.
From September to just before Christmas the club takes anonymous nominations of people who could use the help of extra funds.
“We lay out the needs of the people who have been nominated and then we [hand] out funds accordingly,” said White.
Throughout the years White has seen as many as 40 nominations come through in one year. So far for this year, there are 25 nominations.
“Every single person who is nominated gets something,” added White.
There were 16 bouts on throughout Oct. 27 with roughly 10 amateur bouts, which ranged in age the youngest being 8 years old. There were also charity bouts that saw local celebrities take on each other.
There were also multiple auction items that were donated and auctioned off between the fights.
“It’s a pretty exciting night. People get fed, the waitresses in the Eagles Hall they do a wonderful thing for us,” said White.
While there were highlights throughout the night, one that stood out to White was a shy young man who won his bout.
“The look on his face says everything. It was a pretty cool moment, but the whole night was exciting,” he said.
When they first started it was to raise money for sporting equipment for kids.
“It’s a good group of people down at the club. It’s a safe place, it’s not intimidating. So, I thought we have to bring something, and let’s try and go out and raise $5,000 for people who need sports equipment. Our first night we ever did this charity thing, we raised $23,000,” said White.
Every year the challenge continues to grow and have the support of the community.
“I don’t think I can let this thing die because I think it is a good thing. It helps out a lot of people in this town,” said White, remembering one individual who appreciated receiving the help when he said he was at his “lowest of lows”, and “it was a positive, upbeat thing I needed.”
The club is the second largest non-profit boxing club in British Columbia, so there is no slowing them down when it comes to the Charity Challenge as White and his team are already looking towards next year.
“I’m lining people up already,” he said. “It has kind of turned into a 12-month ordeal … it’s a good thing and it’s good for our community so we can’t let it die.”