This past Saturday afternoon the Colorado Golden Gloves Charities (Jesse Mora), and WBC Cares Colorado (Stephen Blea & Raylene Carbone) sponsored a fundraiser billed ‘KNOCKOUT CANCER’ at the CGGC Gym located at 6161 W. 44th Ave. in Wheatridge, where Denver amateur boxers, fans and coaches came together in support of a young mother, Deidre Vickers-Strauch, who is raising two small children while battling cancer.
Aiding with their support was the appearance of popular local professional boxers Manny ‘Manos’ Perez (and wife Leann Perez) along with Terri ‘Lil Loca’ Cruz, donating their Saturday afternoon in support of this cause by signing autographs for all kids in attendance throughout the event.
There were 11 bouts in all, making the afternoon brief but powerful, with more than $2,000 raised for Ms. Vickers-Strauch to help with bills, hopefully making the lives of her and her children a bit easier.
In addition a small raffle was conducted with over $200 in cash donated to the family of recently deceased long-time Denver coach, AIBA referee/judge and former amateur boxer Margarito ‘Muggsy’ Berzoza, helping with funeral expenses.
Monies collected at amateur boxing fundraising events come directly from the heart, most amateur boxing families barely making ends meet but clearly wanting to help those in worse situations than themselves being a thing of beauty.
Kudos to the USA Boxing judges/officials who gave up their Saturday afternoon (particularly organizers E. Paul Kelly and Coach Bernie ‘Berndog’ Aragon) all in support of this fundraising effort, none of us ever wanting to see a child suffer.
The WBC further acknowledged the efforts of their WBC Cares Colorado (Blea & Carbone) when WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman recently announced the WBC is sending $1,000 directly to Kathleen Santistevan, a single mother raising a 17 years-old daughter (Kandace) and 10 years-old son (Gabriel), Gabriel battling brain cancer diagnosed back in August of 2013 with Blea & Carbone ‘adopting’ the youngster and his family soon after meeting them.
The chemo sessions are so rigorous and demanding that Ms. Santistevan was forced to take an unpaid leave-of-absence from work to care for her son, her remaining at his side as the cancer has yet to leave his body with another round of chemo scheduled for May.
Saturday April 5, 2014, there will be a fundraising event for the Santistevan Family at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge (303-695-0673), 1151 S. Galena St. in Aurora, from 3-8PM with any donation of support, either prayer or monetary, much appreciated.
This Saturday March 22nd, Denver’s Juan ‘Chago’ Santiago (14-11-1, 8 KO’s) takes on undefeated 2012 Puerto Rico Olympian (loser in the quarter finals) Felix ‘El Diamante’ Verdejo (10-0, 7 KO’s) in a scheduled for 6 round lightweight bout at the Coliseo Roger L. Mendoza in Caguas, Puerto Rico.
Both BoxingScene and Verdejo’s promotions company Top Rank listed the 20 years-old Puerto Rican star as their 2013 ‘Prospect of the Year’.
Santiago must be considered ‘easy work’, Top Rank arrogantly scheduling an April 19th fight in Florida, something that should irritate ‘Chago’ to no end.
Stephen Johnson feature writes for BORICUA BOXING.com, UNTIL THE NEXT ROUND.com and UNDISPUTED FIGHT MAGAZINE.com