Help Get Boxing Academy/COBA Open

$2,365 of $60,000 goal

Raised by 16 people in 27 months
Johnny Callas
for Charter Oak Amateur Boxing Academy
 West Hartford, CT
For the last twenty plus years Hartford has been ranked in the top ten most dangerous cities and 2014 was no different when an expert rated it fourth in the country, once again citing the recruitment and involvement of teens in gangs to sell drugs and carry out hits, to the tune of 37% of the cities murders being that of kids 18 and under. In addition Hartford's youth have one of the highest absentee and drop out rates in the country and 47.9% of its kids live below the poverty line!

The Charter Oak Amateur Boxing Academy & Youth Development Program (COBA)has stood in defiant opposition to this reality and made its mission to: "Keep Kids Alive, In School, Out of Gangs, Drug Free and Moving into Some Form of Higher Education to Realize their Full Potential !"

COBA has done this by utilizing: Olympic Boxing, Academic Tutoring, College Mentoring, Drug & Gang Prevention, A Strengths Based Awards Program all of which motivated Ring Magazine to declare COBA, "A Boxing Club Where Life is the Main Event" in 1995.

It's Alumni include: A Deputy Police Chief, A City Councilman, A Marine Corps Sargent, A High School Football Coach, A Champion Boxer and Broadcaster, A Ivy League Graduate, A West Point Graduate, A Career Military Therapist etc

The Academy had done this in the countries oldest & most embattled housing project Hartford's Charter Oak Terrace and now after the gentrification of the project, it has, by choice purchased a building in one of Hartford's most dangerous, gang & crime ridden areas, it's Frog Hollow & Parkville neighborhoods. With in one year three murders occurred with in walking distance of COBA.

Zak Karas a Hartford Philanthropist, who's family owned the historic "Washing Street Diner" wanted to support & invest in the cities most valuable resource, it's children thus purchased the building for COBA to ensure its future sustainability.

The COBA family has raised over a quarter of a million dollars and another three hundred thousand dollars in, In-Kind-contributions to renovate a delapadated night club that was the personification of urban blight.

After two years we are 60 k away from being able to open our doors before summer to "Fight the Good Fight!" The Thirty plus coaches, social workers, parents, college students etc that make up the "COBA Family" are all volunteers, not one has earned a dollar!

We would greatly appreciate any help you can provide, nothing is to small and unappreciated!!! It is tax deductible and if you would like to contact me directly, in addition to or privately, you can reach me at:

We would love for you to become part of the COBA family and help us nurture our kids into "Champions of Life."

I so thank you for your consideration and if there is anything we can do to help you please let us know!!!

For the Kids,

Johnny "Coach" Callas MSW, CEO COBA, DCF Social Worker and CT Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee
We would love for you to visit us at our website or on our Facebook Page:

Charter Oak Boxing Academy
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Take a minute out of your busy day to read a priceless testimonial from one of COBAs most beloved sons, Hiram Cardona. It exemplifies COBA 's mission and why I am privileged to do dedicate my life to our great kids!!!

Peace I grew up in Charter Oak Terrace I lost many friends to jail or murders, this place was my escape, a loop hole, a sanctuary, a place of peace, smack in the middle in the eye of the storm, its where I grew up and grew into the man I am, Johnny Callas was and still is a mentor, big brother a father to me a countless others whom had no direction, he showed us love and welcomed us into his family he and Dionesia Callas gave so much, I remember her helping me type papers for school ( I started to type but she was faster lol) when I got my nose broken in school she took me to my Dr appointment, I was her little assistant running around w her doing errands while she balanced her life and gave mines some. I was her son as she loved and cared for me before she had her own, Dion Callas Anevay Callas Aiyana Callas . They the Callas' are family they gave me structure and oh I also learned how to box. They helped keep a kid from the projects on the right track even when I made mistakes, slipped And fell they showed me all boxers know to get up while the gloves off and fight til the Bell rings. In the ring but more importantly in life they also taught me in life there is no Bell so we keep fighting , training to be better, to live and help other live better. This was more than a gym a coach and his wife this was a home and a family for those of us who came from broken homes. Please support our efforts to build a new home to open our home to the community once again as they did more than 20 yrs and counting. Help us build new champions of life. Donate or share this message. I love u all my Charter Oak Boxing Academy Family past present and future. With love and peace. Peace
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$2,365 of $60,000 goal

Raised by 16 people in 27 months
Created January 21, 2016
Funds raised will benefit:
Charter Oak Amateur Boxing Academy
  Certified Charity
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West Hartford, CT
EIN: 61310059
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16 months ago
Gary Gianini
16 months ago

20 years ago I knew John as someone I could trust, who was excellent at his job, and who cared about me and the people he worked with. I'm sure he is a great mentor.

Laury Currier
16 months ago

Amazing work you do for the youth of Hartford.

Rodhe Acosta
27 months ago

I pray everyone donates to this great cause. My grandson is a boxer for COBA and it is an awesome experience for young boys.

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