Chicks Mix benefits IBCWritten by Kathryn Milstein | | email@example.com
The International Boxing Club of Toledo (IBC) is about more than boxing. The free program, which offers 30 youths in Toledo a chance to learn to box, strives to educate children and provide a fallback for when boxing ends.
“We have a very, very unique organization,” said Harry Cummins, the executive director of IBC. “We’re one of a kind. We use boxing as a hook for bringing kids in.”
Children arrive at the IBC building, 1717 Adams St., at 4:15 p.m. and participate in a 15-minute team meeting where they are reminded that they are champions, Cummins said.
From 4:30-5:30 p.m., the kids participate in a mandatory homework session with tutors, who are often volunteers from the University of Toledo’s honors college. Afterward, students who have passing grades in their classes are allowed to box. Students who failed have to return to the classroom for additional tutoring.
Cummins said most of the parents do not participate in the children’s lives, although there are “a few good ones.” About 75 percent of the parents who bring kids into the IBC building are interested in the program but say their child does not need the education, he said.
He said most parents do not realize there is no money in professional boxing for most professionals.
Cummins said Bronco McKart, a professional boxer from Monroe who goes by the alias “Superman,” spoke to the kids at IBC and told the children he wished he had gone to college.
“It’s sad. Unfortunately, that’s how it is in boxing. We’ve got a lot of bad role models,” he said. “The best role models are the kids already with us.”
The kids tell new participants the hardest part is opening the book, and once the children see improvement, they are hooked.
“We treat them all the same,” he said. “The main thing is getting them off the street. We want champions in life.”
During the summer when school is not in session, IBC offers students a reading club, a photography class and a project on how to start a business.
IBC applied to be Chicks for Charity’s 2011-2012 charity recipient. When it was picked, Cummins said it was like a dream because it will help spread the word about education to the populace.
“They hear boxing club and think we’re promoting violence,” he said. “But we’re the opposite.”
IBC will be featured at Chicks for Charity’s Chicks Mix ’11 from 5:30-9 p.m. July 13 at the Toledo Botanical Garden, 5403 Elmer Drive. Cost of the event is $37 for adults and $20 for women younger than 21. All proceeds from Chicks Mix ’11 will benefit IBC.
Shannon Minoske, the coordinator for Chicks Mix ’11, said the target fundraising goal — from tickets, raffles and the silent auctions — is about $40,000. Last year’s Chicks Mix brought in more than $40,000 from about 600 chicks who attended and more than $100,000 in total funds for The Victory Center, she said. The Victory Center was Chicks for Charity’s 2009-2010 charity recipient.
Chicks Mix ’11 will be a casual event for women to mingle and donate, she said.
“It’s an amazing event to see all these women there laughing and having fun,” Minoske said.
She said Chicks for Charity picked IBC because of the academic and vocational programs that provided an alternative to drugs or violence.
“It’s about so much more than boxing,” Minoske said.