People in Covington took turns throwing punches in the boxing ring on Saturday at the annual Knock Out Hunger fundraiser.
According to organizers, this was the fourth year for the event. This year, Knock Out Hunger raised money for both the South Covington Food Pantry and the flood victims of Virginia and West Virginia.
“We still need help,” said Val Williamson, one of the participants. “Our area still looks very devastated.”
For Williamson, the cause is personal. Her home in White Sulphur Springs was flooded with four feet of water, she said.
“FEMA didn’t help a lot,” Williamson said. “We got under $5,000, and we have $75,000 worth of damage.”
“The food pantry at the church I attend was in need of funds, and this became our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Bruce Bryan, who has been a boxing trainer for three decades and organizes the Knock Out Hunger fundraiser.
Bryan runs boxing drills during the event with those participating – many of whom, he said, have never boxed before.
Participants are sponsored per round, Bryan said. Over the course of the six-hour event, participants typically complete about 100 rounds combined, he added.
“It’s hard to realize that in somewhere like we live that people actually struggle to feed their families, struggle to feed themselves,” said Linda Black, director of the South Covington Food Pantry.
“We raise some money; everybody has a little fun,” Bryan said. “It’s a big day out for the boxing students.”
This year’s event has raised about $2,000, Bryan said.
If you would like to help the South Covington Food Pantry, you may drop off donations, Black said. The food pantry is located inside the South Covington United Methodist Church on Kadel Avenue, she added.