A world-famous champion boxer helped a York County children’s club knock out its goal to raise thousands of dollars.
Evander Holyfield, a four-time world heavyweight champion boxer from Alabama, made a special trip Friday to Rock Hill to help the Boys & Girls Clubs of York County.
Holyfield is known for defeating boxing greats Buster Douglas, Riddick Bowe, John Ruiz and Mike Tyson. He also is famously known for having his earlobe bitten off by Tyson.
By the end of Friday night’s Growing Great Futures Gala at Baxter Hood Center, the club had an extra $52,000 in the bank, said Sara Blancke, director of development and marketing for the York County group.
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That pushed the club past it’s fundraising goal of $150,000 this year, she said.
Holyfield also met with children earlier in the day.
“He had some time to go and meet our kids at our Northside Boys & Girls Club today, and the kids had a blast,” Blancke said.
The York County club opened its doors 25 years ago and has served more than 1,000 children ages 6-18, she said. The club offers after school and summer programs, tutoring, and sports and community service programs, according to the club’s website bgcyc.org.
Holyfield has a special tie to the national organization. He joined the club — known as the Boys Club at the time — when he was a young boy in Alabama, Holyfield said Friday.
That’s when he first stepped into the ring, he said.
“The Boys Club allowed me to be this person who I am,” Holyfield said. “So I am honored to be here to say thank you all for giving me the opportunity to tell you good things.”
Holyfield helped kickoff a live auction. The first item up for bid was an original painting of a famous fight between Holyfield and Mike Tyson, which he signed.
The painting sold for $2,300.
Tracy Kimball: 803-329-4072