“The final sums have yet to be done”, announced Furness and South Lakeland Boxing Committee Chairman Gary Rogerson, “but we are confident that we have now reached the accumulated total of £200,000 in monies raised over the 32 years of the boxing evening.”
This annual fundraiser which takes place at the Cumbria Grand Hotel, Grange-over-Sands under the auspices of the Kendal Amateur Boxing Club was once again an overwhelming success.
This latest event is estimated to have raised about £10,000 to add to the impressive sums raised over the years. As is the tradition of the boxing committee a presentation evening will be held later in the year with proceeds from the event being equally split between Masonic and local good causes and charities.
The occasion saw over 200 Masonic and non-Masonic gentlemen filling the venue and enjoying a four course meal, as well as an evening of excellent pugilistic bouts. First up were five ‘skills contests’. These involve young inexperienced boxers and are meant to be a means of them showing, over three, one-minute rounds that they have the skill and ability to warrant them holding an official licence to box in competitions. They proved to be full blooded encounters with the referee constantly being heard to remind several of the protaganists that they were only involved in a contest to showcase their skills. They proved a terrific appetiser of what was to follow.
10 competitive bouts, each comprising of three rounds of two minutes then followed. They comprised of one schoolboy, four junior and five senior contests. All of them were well matched which resulted in closely contested, all action and thoroughly entertaining encounters in the ring.
The local boxing clubs were well represented with entrants from Barrow ABC, Furness Catholic Boxing Club and Kendal ABC, with others coming from clubs as far apart as Carlisle and Moss Side.
Top of the bill was a match-up in the senior category between Elliot Carvill of the Furness Club and Carl Nicholson from Cleator Moor. It was a ferocious contest with the very game Nicholson having to take standing counts in the second and third rounds as the heavier and more accurate punches of Carvill found their mark, ensuring the latter was awarded the verdict. At the final bell, despite the many blows they had each given and received, it was pleasing to see the boxers embrace in appreciation of their opponent’s efforts. It was sportsmanship of the highest order and typical of the mutual respect all of the competitors had for each other.
The raffle, auction and other fund-raising ventures ensured that this opportunity to raise money for good causes maximised its potential.
With the hotel taken over for the night, the majority of the spectators had booked rooms. This meant there was no hurry to get home and the camaraderie lasted well into the night. A breakfast was enjoyed the next morning in the dining room, with spectacular views over Morecambe Bay – a welcome pleasure before departures were made amidst cries of: “See you next year.”
Gary said: “We are grateful to Kendal Amateur Boxing Club, without whose co-operation, the event could not be held. The ladies who helped sell the raffle tickets along with the stewards from the lodges of the group are to be congratulated and thanked for their efforts. The many generous sponsors are very much appreciated and play a major part in helping to make the evening the great success that it is.”
Group chairman Peter Schofield commented: “It is a delight to be able to support charities and good causes whilst having such a pleasant time in good company. The boxing evening makes a favourable impression on those present who are not Masons. Both the boxing and the subsequent presentation evening have generated excellent coverage in the local press which shows the organisation to which we are proud to belong to in a very good light. Events such as this take planning and hard work. I thank all who made it all possible.”
The date of the presentation evening when the funds raised this year will be dispersed is yet to be announced but plans for the 2019 boxing night are already being drawn up. With many of those in attendance pre-booking their tables for next year, 2019 will no doubt be a sell-out with the demand for tickets exceeding capacity.