As I’m sure many of you are now aware, a fire in the early morning hours of November 2nd caused a tremendous amount of damage to the Woodland Smokehouse and Commissary located at the corner of Commercial Drive and Pender in East Vancouver. What may not have been as widely known was that the area above the commissary had become the home of the relocated Eastside Boxing Club, a not for profit organization providing affordable athletic programming to youth at risk in the East Side of Vancouver. The club was in the process of expanding their services to provide training and support for women experiencing violence in intimate relationships, as well as providing affordable training to members of the general public. It’s the sort of place you build community around. The hope is that the community will help out in this time of need.
The club itself was born out of the closing of the historic Astoria Boxing Club and was supported largely through the efforts of the Aprons for Gloves Boxing Association, and the two very successful Aprons for Gloves fundraisers held over the last two summers. Those two fundraisers had been integral in securing space for the gym and in providing the equipment needed to offer their programs. We covered the event in the summer and were hoping to continue to bring you stories from the club, and the amazing work they do in the coming months. We’d love to be able to bring you those stories and also to play some small part in helping this group get back to doing what they do best, helping kids in East Van and elsewhere realize their potential.