By Charles Bassett, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- In these tough economic times it's hard for non-profit organizations to keep operating when no money is coming in.
Like other non-profits the Police Athletic League is struggling to raise money. But this year, they're getting a lucky break thanks to a group that has a passion for boxing.
Boxing is one of the programs the Police Athletic League, PAL, sponsors as a crime prevention program for juveniles.
"We don't usually have them pay to do that because they can't," Lieutenant David Williams with the Police Athletic League said. "That's why they're coming to us for help, because they can't afford to do it."
Boxing isn't 11-year-old Michelle Rojano's game, tennis is, and PAL has made a difference for her.
"Well, they paid for our equipment, our trips, they help us go to other tournaments and by doing that, they help me raise my ranking and get a better level," Rojano said.
But PAL needs money to keep their services going for the 3,800 kids in their programs.
"It takes a lot of money to do our program, so yeah, we're constantly seeking funding and constantly looking for those who want to donate money to PAL," Williams said.
This year, PAL is getting some unexpected help thanks to the Oklahoma City Charity Fight Night.
The group heard about PAL and is bringing in boxer Sugar Ray Leonard for a fundraising gala. Oklahoma boxing champ Sean O'Grady is helping with the event.
"I wanted to be a world champion boxer, so I had a direction during my adolescent years, and to me that's so important for our young kids and that's where PAL fills that void," O'Grady said.
There will even be some sparring at the event. PAL leaders just hope it will provide the knockout they need for their bottom line.
"With this fight night, it should give us some good funding for next year," Williams said.
The event will talk place on January 22. Some other names they've brought in the past include boxers Larry Holmes and Smokin' Joe Frazier.