The Legacy of Mr. Mac Lewis
Mr. Mack Lewis was a man who offered troubled kids a way out through boxing, he died in November 2010. The gym was located on the corner of Broadway and Eager above a grocery store. Prior to his passing the gym relocated to 913 North Bond Street in 2002. After his passing some of his fighters continued to follow in his footsteps, by keeping the gym and foundation going. As the community began to deteriorate boxing continued to be the focus, but other needs began to surface and the new board decided to add additional programs to address the rising needs of the youth and community. This led to the implementation of the tutoring and art programs.
We still train youth in the sport of boxing. We are located one block west of the old gym at 913 North Bond Street. Our after-school tutoring helps our youth become more confident and better students. Our art program is a form of therapy that helps our youth and young adults explore and identify their feelings, improving self-awareness, behavior and social skills. We also provide opportunities for families to spend quality time together in a safe nurturing environment which helps to build positive relationships within the family and community.
We feed the community during holidays
We provide back to school giveaways for the community
We provide clothing and supplies for our young people
We have boxing events to entertain the community
We provide ties for men looking for jobs
We provide combs, brushes and personal items for women seeking employment
The community we are located in has a high crime and murder rate that is among the worst in the city. Most of our members come from single parent homes. This parent is usually the mother who on average lives below the poverty level.
We recognize that many of the kids in our community struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome which impacts their learning ability and social development. Our goal is to help address these issues and improve the chances of success for our youth through our art therapy program.
Through boxing our youth become more confident and better decision makers. The tutoring program helps them be more engaged in the classroom which increases self-esteem. Seeing the older adults and parents working to better themselves helps youth stay focused and committed to good decision-making.
We have so much crime and poverty in the city that our youth are beginning to lose hope. The average young person feels like he/she will not to live to be 21. All of our youth know someone who has been killed or have witnessed a tragic event which has left them scared. The longer it takes for them to get help the more accepting they become and begin to normalize these events. Which leads to adaptation to the environment.
We have been sustaining the gym through public and private donations while charging a minimum membership fee to keep the lights on and the rent paid. Our staff is made up of all volunteers. We would like to be able to retain our staff by providing salaries. We would like to purchase it. Materials to assist with all of our programs. Computers, gym equipment, transportation expenses and numerous other costs.