After their building in Springfield was sold, a non-profit boxing gym has finally found a new space.
Central City Boxing has worked out an agreement with the new building owners to stay at their Belmont Avenue location rent-free for a few months. They’ve found a new building to move into, but they must find hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding in just 90 days in order to do it.
The new location is on Tyler Street, but there are still some major obstacles that could keep that move from happening.
“Unfortunately, there is a possibility that we don’t raise enough money and we can’t get the funding, and then the programs got to shut the doors,” said Dean Fay of Central City Boxing.
Fay, a Springfield Police officer, started the gym to help keep kids off the street.
“Instead of emulating the negative role model, they want to pick it up and emulate some of these kids, that do the right thing and are out there busting their butt,” Fay told 22News. “Not only in the ring but in the classroom.”
He’s signed a purchase to sale agreement for a new space in Springfield, but Central City only has 90 days to secure around $245,000 in funding.
“We’ve got a long road ahead of us, we still have to raise the money,” Fay said. “Most of the time the funding is coming out of pocket, and I’m okay with that. I’m okay with that because I can put my head on the pillow at the end of the night and know I am doing something good for these kids.”
Just because their backs are against the ropes, doesn’t mean Central City or its students are throwing in the towel.
“Me getting here just makes it much easier to introduce myself and open up more and have people to rely on,” said Yaddio Diaz. “As teammates, not only teammates but as a family. Boxing is related to life. You either going to let life bring you down, or you going to fight for it, and get back up.”
The gym said they’ve applied for grants and received a $10,000 donation from a local company. They’re hoping what they can’t raise, they can mortgage.
“For these kids to understand that we’re going to go into a new place, and it’s going to be our place,” Fay told 22News. “Not just a gym but it’s a house for them, it’s a home.”