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Eminem joins fight to help Downtown Boxing Gym grow, and so can you


Many Detroit neighborhoods are still in distress, and so are the children living there. Some of those are on the city’s eastside where the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program hopes to make a difference. Today it wants to expand its operation and take in more kids.

Eminem wants to help.

He’s launched a campaign to bring in needed dollars to the organization. The Marshall Mathers Foundation in partnership with Shady Records, Title and Southpaw are taking donations from fans who will have the chance to win special prizes from their limited edition collaboration.


Ten lucky winners will be chosen to win the already-sold-out Southpaw boxing gloves made by Title and autographed by Eminem. Additionally, one grand prize winner will get a handwritten response to a “Stan” fan letter from Eminem.

The campaign ends on midnight August 30. You can click here to donate and get a chance to win one of these prizes. It’s a great cause.

“To be honest, one of the hardest things for me is telling a family there’s no room for their child,” says founder Khali Sweeney on the website.

The Downtown Detroit Boxing Gym is open to 7 to 18 year-old boys and girls. It uses boxing to teach them good citizenship, the importance of academics and the need to do voluntary service. The program boasts a 100 percent high school graduation rate and a clear path to success in the classroom and in life. It currently serves 65 students, with 320 more on the waiting list … and the number continues to grow. It costs about $4,000 for each student to be in the program and none of them pay a dime.

“(I’m) proud to have the ‪#‎MMF involved to help out one of my favorite ‪#‎Detroit organizations Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program,” Eminem says on his Facebook page. “The fundraiser also gives fans the chance to win autographed gloves from our TITLE Boxing / ‪#‎Southpaw collab + a handwritten letter from me.

“This is the last week… I’m also matching every donation made dollar for dollar.”

All proceeds will benefit the Downtown Youth Boxing Program through the Marshall Mathers Foundation. Here’s how it works.

  • Limit one entry per email
  • Donate by midnight 8/30/2015 to be included in drawing
  • Winner will be contacted via email 9/9/2015
  • No Purchase Necessary

Detroit Unspun did a story about the gym a while ago. You can click here to read it.

That story mentions a student who called himself “Q.” While he had a great deal of potential, he struggled with anger issues in school. When he wasn’t getting into fights in school, he was about a “C” student. Once he joined the gym, Coach Khali and the staff tutored him, challenged him and helped him channel his energies in a more positive direction. “Q” is on his way to college now and plans to become a doctor.

We can see the Downtown Boxing Gym and its founder Sweeney are making a difference.

Sweeney grew up in the Harper and Van Dyke area, where the gym is currently located. He says he helps give back to a place he called home and because there is so much help needed here. More than 75% of the enrolled students live within a 3-mile radius of the gym, many of whom are residents of the nearby public housing units. Their families also benefit by witnessing and participating in our hands-on coaching methodology.


“Giving kids a fighting chance is my passion – boxing is the tool I use to make my passion into a reality,” he says on the website. “Downtown Boxing Gym is a safe haven for our kids to come to daily … Most importantly, it provides a family atmosphere where they thrive and build self-confidence.

“I believe that it really does take a village to raise a child, especially in today’s economy when so many parents are out of work or in jobs that barely keep food on the table. We need to expand our village, and I’m hoping you’ll join us,” Sweeney says.

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