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Fighting for a cause: taekwondo fundraiser supports Gold Star families

Hundreds of families punched and kicked in the 17th annual Board Break-a-thon
Posted at 10:22 PM, Apr 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-28 00:22:07-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Breaking through wooden boards may sound like a tough feat but for these taekwondo athletes, it was just another Saturday. Hundreds of families gathered at Pine Creek High School for the 17th Annual Board Break-A-Thon.

"Essentially what we've been doing over the last two months, all of our students have been going out and raising money for the boards they're going to break here today. Each one of our students will break up to five boards, and they'll get to break into different stations. So they can do a running kick or a more powerful kick," said U.S. Taekwondo Center President Jay Lee.

Lee, who has the taekwondo title of master, says his business has raised more than $500,000 for local nonprofits since the Break-A-Thon started in 2006.

"Beyond the physical part of kicking and punching, the most important thing we want to teach through the philosophy of taekwondo is empathy for others, community service, and leadership is just as important as the physical side," Master Lee told me.

When Ashton Bennet took up taekwondo, his parents loved it so much that they joined him. Now the three of them say there's a big connection between the martial arts practice and father Chris Bennet's time in the military.

"It is all about discipline," said Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Bennet.

Bennet is especially excited about this year's nonprofit his taekwondo is supporting: Angels of America's Fallen. The organization helps children who have lost a parent in the military or first responder community. This means a lot to Bennet, especially since the nonprofit helped the family of a friend he lost in the service.

"I'm just touched, that personally, I know those three girls have an organization that cares about them, that's committed to them, and is walking alongside them in their loss and grief of not having their dad in their life," he told me.

Master Lee says the families here raised more than $35,000 to donate to these Gold Star families.


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