Bend Boxing Club raising funds online in effort to rezone space, save club

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Bend Boxing Club is attempting to rezone the space, something its founder says it crucial for the future of Central Oregon’s only public boxing gym.

The boxing club says it needs to raise $8,000 to cover the cost of a rezoning permit from the city, as well as gym expenses and the annual registration with USA Boxing.

The GoFundMe page created to “Save the Bend Boxing Club” has raised $3,040, with 33 donors so far.

The boxing club opened its gym on American Loop in southeast Bend last year. The club was founded in 2002 by former professional boxer and trainer Rod Smith.

It’s a nonprofit organization where people of all ages and all skill levels can “improve their health, discipline, and confidence through the sport,” the fundraising page states.

When Smith was 18, he joined the Navy, where he picked up his love for the sport of boxing. He went up against big names like James Tillis and Tyrel Briggs in his professional boxing career. Afterward, he went on to discover coaching and teaching others his love for the sport.

NewsChannel 21’s Kelsey McGee is speaking Smith Thursday about the fundraising effort and what the gym means to him. Her report is coming up on NewsChannel 21 at Five.

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