Las Vegas’ own Laborers Local 872, whose members will build the Raiders new stadium, got a little bump up from the team to help make a boxing gym for local youth a reality.
In the time I have spent covering the Oakland Raiders relocation to Las Vegas, one labor of love has finally come to fruition. The Laborers Local 872 has been working on a youth boxing center for for the last three months. It’s been a bit overshadowed by all the other news in Las Vegas, but Vince Sapienza of Fox 5 in Las Vegas was able to do a nice piece on it last week.
For generations, youth boxing centers have helped keep kids from trouble in our inner cities. This means giving kids a fighting chance of staying out of gangs or falling into a cycle of crime. It builds discipline and confidence that young men and women need to feel better about themselves, do better in school, and do better in life.
In an unforgiving world, places like this give kids a chance to learn these important life lessons and skills.
It also allows them to channel their anger and frustration in a positive way without hurting someone or breaking the law. Not only that, but with Tommy White and the Local 872 running this project, there will be a lot of extra benefits for the kids. They are around men and women who will teach them the importance of hard work, earning a living, and being disciplined in life. Those are skills many of these young people aren’t always taught elsewhere.
In addition to the Local 872, the Raiders donated over $15,000 in equipment to make the gym an appealing and well outfitted place for Las Vegas’ at-risk youth. The team donated weights, boxing equipment, and other sporting goods to help the Local 872 reach their goal. The Raiders did this without any fanfare or without wanting a pat on the back. The organization has a long history of giving back to its community and owner Mark Davis doesn’t do it for publicity. It’s just fact.
I would reach out and ask the Raiders about their involvement, but I already know what their response would be. “We did not do this for publicity, we did it because it’s the right thing to do.” Now to be fair, that is not an actual quote. However, you can ask anyone who covers the Raiders and they would agree that would probably be their response. This is what Las Vegans in the valley can expect from an organization that will move into their new stadium in 2020.
All that said, the real heroes here are Tommy White, the hard-working members of Local 872, and the local leaders who helped make this happen. Also, the kids themselves who choose to do something positive with their lives – no matter how much the odds are stacked against them.
It’s apropos the the boxing gym is located in an abandoned old firehouse that was built to save lives.
And now, it’s saving and enriching the lives of local youth in a way no one could have imagined.