A tornado-like, powerful event made its impact on the town of friendly people this past Saturday!
Don’t worry, Mayor Kevin Hart had the event on his radar. Age, gender and cultural backgrounds had no effect on the excitement, comradery, and dreams recognized on this day. A diverse crowd rented hotel rooms, patronized businesses, explored the town and entered the Lovely Hill Baptist Convention Center to enjoy a full day of competition and entertainment in St. George. ” ..and what a fun day it was,” exclaimed Karen Yvette, a volunteer at the event.
On Saturday, January 28, 6X world boxing champion Zab Judah and N.Y. Boxing Hall of Famer Monte Barrett, in partnership with the Robinson Neal Boxing Academy, hosted a USA Boxing sanctioned amateur bout showcase in St. George. “This was our first time doing something like this… we had a great turnout, stated George Perry, an event coordinator for the House of Champions. He was right. More than 350 + people were in attendance to participate and support the athletes. Among the patrons and supporters were the honorable Mayor Kevin Hart and County Councilwoman Harriett Hollman.
Although Mike Tyson was unable to attend this time, he sent his autographed gloves to be used in an auction to raise money to assist with youth programming.
Monte Barrett welcomed the community and guests who traveled from places in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and even New York. With a fist pumped and a beaming glow of pride for the eager athletes, Monte shouted, *We are about to start..!” And, start they did! The towering boxing ring housed the first two fighters. There was one in the red corner and another in the blue corner. No time was wasted. The first of 48 bouts began!
Not only was the showcase an opportunity to exhibit the skills of young boxers ages 7-17, and some adults, it was also an opportunity for the 501c3 organization, House of Champions, to raise money for Champ’s Camp. Champ’s Camp is a program for middle school and high school aged children to experience alternative stress outlets, increase academic skills and build self-confidence. According to the 2022 Kids Count® Data Book, there has been a 55% increase in depression and anxiety in the children of South Carolina since 2016. Knowing this has rung an alarm of concern from Monte Barrett and his business partner Zab Judah. The boxing duo is teaming up with school educators to establish an afterschool program and summer camp for our youth. Discussions with school officials and stakeholders look promising. “The Champs Camp programs are due to launch this Spring,” says Barrett.
The House of Champions, Monte Barrett and Zab Judah’s non-profit organization, plans to continue fundraising efforts, apply for grants and accept generous donations and sponsorships in order to bring awareness to the plight of our youth and gradually build successful programs throughout South Carolina and eventually North Carolina. Excitedly, the first program will launch in St. George. Monetary and in-kind donations have already begun. Swing Phi Swing Social Fellowship Inc.’s Palmetto Graduate Chapter, from Charleston, were one of the first organizations to offer a donation. Georgetta Glover, an active member of the organization, presented a check in support of this promising venture. In addition, several members of the organization were hard at work in the kitchen, at the ticketing table and as cheerleaders for the amateur Boxers. Other volunteers were the mighty young men and women from The Citadel – The Military College of South Carolina. These 11 cadets, without missing a beat, set up and broke down chairs and tables, became short-order cooks, astute cashiers, provided basic security and jumped in when and where they saw a need. Of course, these were not the only volunteers. Members from the community came out, rolled up their sleeves and got to work. Without them, this event would not have been possible.
Dominic Robinson Neal encouraged more people to experience the energy and participate in an alternative activity.
Article courtesy of Karen Yvetter Jones, Executive Director, Special to The Eagle-Record
Don’t miss House Of Champions next Event on
March 25, 2023 at
Lovely Hill Conference Center, 5905 W
Jim Bilton Blvd., St. George, SC 29477