After a 3-year hiatus due to COVID, the College Men’s Club of Westfield (CMC) held a record-setting “Friday Night at the Fights” fundraiser to benefit the CMC Scholarship Fund. On Friday, February 10th, a sold-out crowd of more than 260 attendees assembled at the Kenilworth Veterans Center to watch 11 amateur bouts refereed by officials of the NJ Association of USA Boxing. The evening generated gross proceeds of more than $63,000 for the club’s scholarship fund from ticket sales, a 50/50 raffle, a live auction, and sponsorships by two local businesses. These results vastly exceeded all previous years’ totals.
CMC President Dave Germond noted that, "the CMC is thrilled to see return of this long-standing fan favorite event, which has traditionally been a critical element of our annual fundraising”. Germond further highlighted that “the CMC is extremely grateful to our Platinum Sponsor, Ray Catena Mercedes Benz of Union and our Gold Sponsor, Rumble Boxing of Westfield for their generous support.”
Also in attendance was Gerry Cooney, professional boxing legend, multiple-time Heavyweight contender, and Fanwood resident who donated for auction a boxing glove autographed by himself and former world Heavyweight champion Larry Holmes. The signed glove raised $2,300 during the live auction. The CMC also announced it will be donating to New Jersey Give a Kid a Dream, an organization led by NJ Boxing Hall of Famer, Jackie Atkins which provides school support, counseling and nutrition for kids in economically challenged communities “We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Jackie Atkins. We have been working together for almost 15 years and our collaboration is a force for good across the community” remarked Shawn Hanna, CMC Boxing Chair and past President.
Some highlights from the 11 bouts held that evening include in the 114-lb weight class, Jessica Herrera, ranked #2 nationally, prevailed over challenger Yasmin Lopez in a three-round decision. Later in the evening, Jean-Pierre Valencia brought the crowd to its feet with a fusillade of body blows to score a riveting decision over former Golden Gloves champion Abedallah Eliawiah in the 165-lb weight class. “Our Boxing Night is always highly anticipated among our donors, we are thrilled to simultaneously support our scholarship fund and also provide a platform for these young boxers to showcase their skill and hard work and take their boxing careers to the next-level.” Germond continued.