Madonna may have moved on from a Midwestern accent to adopt a British one. But her recent donation to help save Detroit’s Downtown Youth Boxing Gym shows she still has love in her heart for Michigan.
Boxing in Detroit, like the Motor City itself, has seen better days. The legendary Kronk Gym closed in 2006 shortly after copper thieves looted it. The Downtown Youth Boxing Gym sprouted up that year and tried to fill the void. The gym features a “Books before Boxing” program that boasts a boost in grades and a 100 percent graduation rate for the young participants.
“Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program is more than just boxing,” the facility’s website maintains. “Before the kids put on gloves, they have to hit the books. The work we do changes the lives of the kids by offering a safe, cool and productive place to go after school and during the summer. The work we do is about helping kids navigate the challenges they face in one of Detroit’s toughest neighborhoods and developing the whole person.”
The link between athletics and academics impressed Madonna.
“A piece of my heart will always be in Detroit,” Madonna noted in a release, “and I’m humbled to be able to give back to my community.” The donation amount remains undisclosed.
Some of the greatest boxers in the history of the sweet science started in youth gyms in Motown, including Joe Louis and Thomas Hearns. The Motor City Cobra approves of the Material Girl spreading the wealth.
“I think it’s awesome for her to help, being as big as she is,” Hearns told TMZ Sports. “The people who get the help she provides will probably shed tears.”