Hazleton Area Recreation Program will host a fundraiser tonight at its facility in the Heights in support of a local boxing club and a foundation that will help families afflicted by a rare form of cancer known as rhabdomyosarcoma, an organizer said.
Los Angeles Angels Manager Joe Maddon, Hazleton Area Recreation Program (HARP), Hazleton Boxing Club, Maddon’s Respect 90 Foundation and Hazleton Integration Project will lace up their gloves for “Joe Maddon’s Main Event” at the Terrace Plaza ballroom, 601 S. Poplar St., at 6 p.m. today in support of a fundraiser that Lou Barletta’s family launched as his young grandson, Jordan, battles cancer.
Bob Curry, of Hazleton Integration Project, said the event will give the community an opportunity to rally in support of a worthwhile cause that will benefit both the foundation for Jordan and the local boxing club.
Curry said that Hazleton Boxing Club’s Keman Jackson approached him with the idea for a fundraising event,“Fighting for Jordan,” to help families afflicted by rhabdomyosarcoma.
“He’s not only looking to help families, but to kick start a major effort to get more research done on rhabdomyosarcoma,” Curry said. “It only affects 350 kids a year, which means it doesn’t raise to the level of the National Institute of Health conducting any studies. Families are left to their own devices and there’s only a few places in the nation with the wherewithal to deal with it.”
Believing it’s a worthwhile cause, Curry said he bounced the idea off Joe and Jaye Maddon, who decided to support the fundraiser through Maddon’s Main Event Friday at the Terrace Plaza.
The event will feature seven amateur youth boxers from Chicago taking on seven regional amateur boxers. Tickets for general admission seating are $50 and available in advance at Hazleton One Community Center, 225 E. Fourth St., or by calling Curry at 570-233-5309.
Doors open at 6 p.m. and the first bout is at 7 p.m.
The event will include guest appearances by Maddon, former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes and Iran Barkley, a former champion at three weight classes.
Organizers are hoping for a strong turnout.
“If we can’t come together over this — over a child who has cancer as a symbol of hope not only for him but for the other families that are suffering under the burden of this disease … then you have no soul,” Curry said.
Jackson said he’s glad to be in a position to help families affected by the rare disease.
“I believe that as a community we can all pull together and make a statement about who we are and how we need to take care of each other,” Jackson said.