Fighting the Good Fight in Santa Rosa
Del Oro’s Santa Rosa Corps teams up with local boxing club.
The first time Captain Fred Rasmussen of the Santa Rosa Corps heard a speaker from the Double Punches Boxing Club, he was struck by certain similarities of that organization’s mission to The Salvation Army’s—to reach out and rescue those at risk in the name of Jesus Christ.
Under the direction of Richard and Maria Lopez, Double Punches uses boxing to divert young people from the negative influence of gangs and inner-city crime. Along the way they teach children that God loves them and has a much better plan for their lives than they can imagine.
Now in its 16th year, Double Punches is the largest single amateur boxing club in California sanctioned by USA Boxing—the authorizing organization for the Golden Gloves competition.
Seeing myriad possibilities in joining forces with this group, Rasmussen developed a proposal that resulted in the Double Punches Boxing Club operating from one corner of the newly acquired facility for The Salvation Army in Santa Rosa’s growing west side. Roughly 70 club members (boys and girls), ranging in age from 10 to 29, participate two or three evenings a week with volunteer coaches who are certified by USA Boxing.
“This new facility will be the primary home of Salvation Army ministries and activity for at least the next forty years,” says Rasmussen. “We envision a time when the family members of those in the boxing club will be elsewhere in our 43,000 square foot facility participating in Bible studies, musical programs, ESL classes or other forms of spiritual and character enriching programs. Our unofficial partnering with Double Punches will give both of us a synergetic boost to our ministries that will doubtless benefit the community and grow both the corps and the Kingdom in the process!”
The Salvation Army has been serving Santa Rosa since 1886 and is now in the midst of its first-ever capital campaign. Future plans include a pre-school for 90 children, after-school arts and music programs, Spanish language corps development, a senior day care facility, and expansion of transitional living and family services counseling.