This week in local history: County residents box for charity
Ten bouts scheduled for tourney
By Jeff Eisele
Boxing action returns to Grand County this weekend as the El Grande Invitational Boxing Tournament takes over where a series of smokers in Grand Lake left off last May.
Boxing fans will be treated to a variety of events in addition to the 10 bouts scheduled for the Saturday night card, with the proceeds going to help establish a Grand County emergency fund. The Grand County Women’s Association will assume responsibility for administering the fund, to help local families in need of emergency financial assistance.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the women’s association wanted to do a spectacular benefit this year. When El Grande owner J.J. “Krank” Krankota suggested the boxing tournament and the women’s association agree to sponsor the emergency fund, it had its “spectacular event.”
The event has mushroomed in recent weeks thanks to the support of many local merchants and businesses that have donated either gift certificates or merchandise, which will be auctioned in between bouts. Those proceeds also will go to the emergency fund.
In addition, an awards ceremony buffet, featuring house specialties of several Granby restaurants will be held after the bouts at Berties of Granby. proceeds from the buffet will be split between the emergency fund and the newly-formed El Grande Boxing Club for boys and young men.
“Kids have always been our business, long before we bought the theater,” Krankota said, adding that he and his wife Helen often find themselves consoling and talking to kids at the theatre about their problems. “In an average week, I have two or three kids up here in my office and we just talk, sometimes until two or three in the morning. And there isn’t a Friday night that Helen doesn’t take a carload of kids home after the show.”
So, with several local fighters using an upstairs area at the theatre to train for their upcoming bouts, the idea for the boxing club arose as a place for boys to come to “rap” and develop some worthwhile qualities and skills.
“The object of the boxing club is to give the boys in this area an alternative to the movies, the pinball machines and that type of thing,” Krankota said. “A lot of times these boys only need somebody to listen to them, and at the same time, teach them self-discipline, self-confidence and give them a feeling of belonging, even if it’s just to a boxing club.”
From the April 7-13 edition of Sky-Hi News’ Hi-Country Living supplement.
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