Fighting for community

When was the last time you volunteered for a charity? When you did was it an easy task or a difficult one?

Often organizations make the volunteer opportunity easily doable to ensure they don't expect too much from someone volunteering their time. Boxing in Community took the complete opposite take on volunteering. 

I had three calls asking if I would volunteer to train for three months intensively, commit to raising $1500, and jump into a boxing ring to authentically box against another volunteer trying to punch me in the face.

It was the easiest no of my life.

So now I find myself doing a story on this unique event and I can't help but have the utmost respect for those who stepped up, donated their time, and who are stepping further outside of their comfort zones than most of us will even consider doing this decade. 

Boxing for Community will debut on Nov. 3 at the Laurel Packinghouse. It's a black tie gala and the high end priced tickets are available online.

 Simply it's a boxing match but instead of professional boxers it's folks like you and me who actually said yes to volunteering to do this.

"We are really looking forward to bringing this event to our community,” said Shelley Gilmore, executive director of the United Way.

“(It’s) modelled after a very successful charity event in Victoria. each boxer must raise funds which will support local programs centred around improving the lives of men in our community."

Boxers have been recruited and training has already started.

This year's roster includes CEOs, developers, leaders in business and a chef-chef match all of whom will find their corners.

In a black-tie event they're going toe to toe and glove-to-glove with other community champions raising awareness and money to support critical, vital services and programs for men in our community.

Each bout will consist of three two-minute rounds where our boxers show us their hard work and what they have learned in their eight-week training period as they go into the ring and box for their community, our community.

"We want this event to support and give back to the men in our community. The United Way is committed to addressing poverty related issues and to building stronger, healthier, more inclusive communities,” states Gilmore.

“Ensuring that key supports are available in the areas of mental health, parenting, addictions, violence and restorative justice as well as youth engagement and education to strengthen families and the future of our children.”

Hats off to all of the volunteers who have stepped up to make this unique fundraising event possible. I'm off to buy a ticket as I would 300 per cent rather be in the crowd than in the ring. 

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Ryan Donn is a singer/songwriter, event producer, digital creative, and Councillor at the City of Kelowna

I love creating songs, which have been used by the Terry Fox Run, Kelowna’s Centennial Celebration, or heard on various local radio stations. 

In the past few years, I've focused on creating community events including Music in the Park, New York New Years, Castanet’s Free Family Skate, Talented Kids, Talented Kelowna, and others.

Originally from Scotland, I’ve lived in Kelowna for over 20 years. My wife, Kimberly, and our two daughters, Lyla and Bella, share our home with Tom (adult with diverse abilities).

In 2014, I was elected to Kelowna City Council. 

Opinions are my own, and don't represent the City of Kelowna, Festivals Kelowna or Creative Okanagan. 

To connect with Ryan:

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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