Vote for Khali in CNN Heroes Top 10!

Please VOTE every day through December 12 and help us win $100,000!

We are so honored that our books before boxing program has led us to the CNN Heroes Top 10. By voting for Khali, founder and CEO of the Downtown Boxing Gym, you are helping Detroit students and helping our city shine in a global spotlight.

We hope you've heard the exciting news. On the CNN morning show “New Day,” Anderson Cooper announced that Khali Sweeney, our founder and CEO, is among the top 10 finalists for CNN Heroes of 2017. The award-winning program recognizes ordinary people from around the globe who are changing the world. What an incredible honor.

Now, we have a chance to win $100,000 if Khali gets the most online votes. And that’s where we need YOUR help. We're counting on our powerhouse team of supporters and friends to vote every day and help us win!


Maximize your impact. You get 30 votes per day. Here's how:

We can't thank you enough for your support! Here's a message from Khali:

"It is truly an honor to be among the CNN Heroes Top 10 and to be recognized for the work we are doing to transform lives through education, enrichment, athletics and mentorship. We are proud of our books before boxing program and our 100% high school graduation rate since 2007. But, there is so much more work to be done. Right now, there are 850 students on our waiting list. We will not rest until we can make a difference in their lives, too. The work we are doing not only impacts our students and their families, it has a positive impact on our community, the city of Detroit, and the world. Thank you for all of your votes and support. With your help, and the power of all of us working together, we will win!" - Khali Sweeney

Tune in December 17!

“CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” hosted by Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa, will air live at 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17 from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. It will also stream live for subscribers on CNNgo and on the CNN mobile apps for iOS and Android. And it will be available on demand via cable and satellite systems, CNNgo platforms and the CNN mobile apps beginning Dec. 18.


Beaumont 'CHAMP' Program Visits Downtown Boxing Gym

Our Students Literally Had their Heads Examined. Here's Why!

Did you know? Concussions account for nearly 15% of all sports-related injuries for young people, ages 15-24. With that in mind, Beaumont Hospital created the Concussion Health Awareness Management Program (CHAMP) to provide concussion education and screening. Beaumont's Neuroscience Outreach Coordinator Lori Sheridan recently visited us and brought the program to the Downtown Boxing Gym.

"CHAMP is a concussion injury prevention program focused on student athletes," Sheridan explains. "Each participating student athlete receives a baseline test and participates in a student-based educational program to promote awareness and understanding of concussion."

Sports are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury behind motor vehicle crashes, Sheridan adds. It's estimated that 14% of all student-athletes in the U.S. suffer a concussion at least once in their high school years and that 16.8% of high school athletes suffering a concussion had previously suffered a sports-related concussion, either that season or in a previous season.  The goal of CHAMP is to prevent serious and repetitive brain injury.

All concussions are serious, with or without a loss of consciousness. Anywhere from a few minutes to a few days after a concussion, the brain can be vulnerable to changes in pressure, blood flow and oxygen levels. Concussions can cause physical, cognitive and emotional changes including fatigue, memory loss, poor concentration, depression, dramatic mood swings and even addiction. When an athlete receives more than one concussion, the risk dramatically increases for slower recovery and long-term problems. Repeated concussions can cause extensive and permanent brain damage or even death.

"The health and safety of our students is always our number one concern," says Downtown Boxing Gym executive director Jessica Hauser. "We are thankful for this program and the time and attention Beaumont has paid to our students. What an important mission that is truly making an impact."

Student athletes who complete the CHAMP program have their own test results for their physician to compare should they sustain a concussion. The educational component ensures that students are able to define concussion, list the signs and symptoms  and understand the role of screening.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, concussion symptoms usually fall into four categories:





CHAMP is 100% paid for through philanthropic funds and is offered to student athletes free of charge. Students who suffer a concussion can be seen within 72 hours of injury at the Beaumont Concussion Clinic, staffed by neuroscience trained healthcare professionals.  An after-hours phone line is manned by nurses so patients, family members and coaches can also call in for emergency and non-emergency advice.

Click HERE to learn more about the CHAMP program.

Leading the Way: Boxing Gym Board Members Take on New Roles!

New Board Chair and Other Leaders Bring Diverse Backgrounds, Talent

From Ford Motor Company to Rock Ventures and more, we are thankful to the team of passionate professionals helping guide our program to new heights. Welcome to our new board chair, vice chair, secretary, treasurer and two new board members!

(Left to right, Julie Lodge-Jarrett, Sara Ross, Elizabeth Kmetz, and Peter Fezzey)

Members of the Downtown Boxing Gym board gathered Oct. 17 at The Scott at Brush Park on Woodward Avenue in Midtown to usher in a new leadership team, adopt a budget, and get down to business. The stunning new five-story apartment building, featuring a cozy lobby and a rooftop pool deck, provided a comfortable space to meet, mingle, and brainstorm. Downtown Board Gym board member Clifford Brown is part of the team that developed The Scott, built by Sachse Construction. The building features one, two and three bedroom apartments (199 units in all), a lobby, lounge, fitness facilities, and more.

Julie Lodge-Jarrett led the meeting, taking over the role of board chair from Matt Roling who will remain on the board. Lodge-Jarrett is the Chief Talent Officer (CTO) at Ford Motor Company, responsible for talent acquisition, learning and development, organizational development, diversity, people process and culture, for the global automaker. She was hooked from the first day she walked into the Downtown Boxing Gym and is excited about her new role.

Peter Fezzey, Digital Business Development Manager for, is our new vice chair; Sarah Ross, a Director at Rock Ventures is treasurer; and Elizabeth Kmetz, a Vice President, Development Director for Broder & Sachse will serve as secretary.

Joining the board are, Rakesh Aneja with Detroit Diesel and Joe Freers with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (PwC). Rakesh has twenty years of experience in diesel powertrain development, including engineering leadership and program leadership responsibilities in the fields of advanced engine, aftertreatment and OBD system development. Joe provides specialized consulting in risk, controls, audit and compliance for mid-market private through large multi-national public companies.

We are thrilled to have such and outstanding, powerhouse team! Thank you to all of our board leaders and members, past and present, who play such a key role in our growth. We are excited about the future and big things to come as we continue to expand our program and serve more Detroit students.

TITLE Boxing + Downtown Boxing Gym, Stronger Together!

TITLE Boxing Clubs Donate Dollars for Punches to Benefit Downtown Boxing Gym

Every 10,000 punches = $1. More than 12 million punches are expected to be thrown during a month-long fundraising campaign.

Teamwork packs a punch!

We're excited to announce that TITLE Boxing Clubs in Macomb and Shelby Townships have joined our team by raising funds to benefit the Downtown Boxing Gym. How much for a punch? Throughout the month of October, TITLE Boxing Clubs will donate $1 to our program for every 10,000 punches thrown during their “Power Hour” classes, with more than 12 million punches expected to be thrown during the month-long campaign.

Then, on Thursday, Nov. 9, the two gyms will host a two-hour workout highlighted by 25 continuous boxing rounds. A minimum $20 donation is required to attend, with half of all proceeds benefitting our free, after-school academic and athletic program for Detroit students ages 8-18. (People can sign up at the boxing clubs to participate!)

"Our program focuses on books before boxing, but every afternoon there's plenty of activity in our gym and in the ring," said Downtown Boxing Gym Executive Director Jessica Hauser. "We love that our neighbors outside the city are throwing punches to support our programs and our students. It's a great workout for a great cause and we truly appreciate it."

TITLE is a nationwide chain of boxing and kickboxing fitness studios with more than 170 locations across the U.S., part of a new trend of using the sport for fitness and stress relief. Classes, which are open to all ages and abilities, alternate 3-minute boxing rounds with active recovery, such as pushups and Russian twists.

The franchise’s owner, Scott Van Almen, said he wanted to do something to make a positive difference.

“This goes way beyond the common tie of boxing and dives into truly helping the youth of Detroit become more disciplined and empowered in their overall health and education,” he said.

Thanks to Van Almen and all the members of TITLE for helping us out. Keep throwing those punches!