When we last checked in with Rockin’ Ray Fiore, he was throwing a fundraiser for his H.O.N.K. (Help Our Neighborhood Kids) Boxing Club and Youth Center here in Sheepshead Bay. Well, that was back in March, and apparently Ray wasn’t able to raise enough. Daily News is reporting that he owes the landlord two months rent, and faces eviction if he can’t come up with $7,000 by Sunday.
H.O.N.K. is a great community organization that helps mentor kids – many who are troubled – and is also the only boxing club in southern Brooklyn. Help keep great organizations like this in our community by contacting Ray to see what you can do to keep the club going.
From the Daily News:
Fiore and his sister spent $25,000 of their own money – “every cent we had,” he said – to rent the 4,500-square-foot space on E. 17th St.
Fiore’s attempts to raise donations haven’t worked as local businesses also hurt by the economy can’t afford to help him. Delays in the gym’s application for nonprofit status, which would help Fiore get contributions, finally went through three weeks ago.
“Of course I wasn’t going into this thinking God was going to drop money from the sky,” said Fiore, who has contacted dozens of businesses and politicians looking for funds, but has only managed to raise a few hundred dollars.
Currently, Fiore is training 18 young boxers ranging in age from 8 to 25 years old – up from the eight members he had when the gym opened. One of his boxers fought in a Daily News Golden Gloves tournament last December.
“How could the only boxing club this side of Brooklyn be shut down when we have nothing for these kids?” he said.
Bryan Gonzalez, 17, of Sheepshead Bay, said he spends three or four hours every day at HONK – and he’s determined to eventually win the Golden Gloves.
“I’m going to be losing my second home,” he said of the gym’s looming eviction. “My father abandoned me when I was 2, and then my stepfather and mother got divorced. Boxing teaches me how to be a man, and Ray treats me like he’s my father.”