Fourth-annual Kushindokai ‘Kick-a-Thon’ raises $10k for DCAFS

June 22, 2017   ·   0 Comments

Kushindokai Karate and Fitness owner and head instructor Michael Fisher presents a cheque for $10,008.75 to Dufferin Child and Family Services Executive Director Jennifer Moore.

By Mike Pickford

A group of 50 budding martial artists and instructors came together to throw some kicks for cash this month in an effort to raise funds for Dufferin Child and Family Services.

Kushindokai Karate and Fitness raked in $5,008.75 at its fourth annual Kick-a-Thon fundraiser, where members of the local dojo performed a total of 94,494 kicks over a two-hour period on June 10. Scotiabank added an extra $5,000 to the pool, allowing the school’s owner and head instructor Sensei Michael Fisher to present a cheque for $10,008.75 to DCAFS Executive Director Jennifer Moore last Friday (June 16).

“Our fourth annual Kick-a-Thon was a huge success,” Mr. Fisher told the Citizen. “It was such a high-energy event and the students and families in attendance had a great time… We had a lot of kids out throwing a lot of kicks. Some of our teenaged students got up to around 3,000, while some of our 10- and 11-year-olds logged between 2,700 and 2,800. We had one little guy who seemed to think he threw 4,000 kicks! They were all so enthusiastic and excited. They look forward to it every year.”

Launched in 2014, the event has raised in the region of $25,000 for local charities and non-profit organizations. Ms. Moore told the Citizen the money will go a long way at DCAFS.

“It’s really incredible seeing this type of donation, it’s actually quite overwhelming,” she said. “To receive this kind of support from a community group and business in town is phenomenal. It means so much knowing they have specifically chosen to support the people that we serve.”

The money will be used to support several popular DCAFS programs under the scope of its Dufferin Children’s Fund. Ms. Moore offered an insight into the diversity of the program, with money in recent years going towards supporting youth futures, child and youth development and health and wellness. In recent years, DCAFS has been able to assist students pursuing a post-secondary education, kids hoping to participate in a wide array of extra-curriculars and youth with developmental and physical disabilities who need to purchase specialized equipment for quality of life.

“This money is going to make a difference to so many people and so many lives… Last year we granted $47,000 to 46 recipients, so we’re certainly hoping to be able to help out just as many, if not more people this time around, thanks in large part to this incredible donation.”

In what he says was by “far and away” the best year thus far for Kushindokai’s Kick-a-Thon, Mr. Fisher thanked all of those that helped make the event an overwhelming success. He went on to explain why he feels it’s so important to give back to the community.

“In karate we spend so much time focusing on our own training, but, really, the core basis of martial arts is trying to better yourself and better your community, so a few years ago we decided to do a fundraiser and see where it takes us,” he said. “While the important thing is raising money, we’ve been able to have a ton of fun doing so. A lot of the time karate is really structured and disciplined, so this is a nice chance for us to let loose and enjoy ourselves, all while helping a great cause.”

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