By Gina Martinez
A Flushing-based Taekwondo group has raised $15,000 for victims of recent natural disasters.
Ultimate Champions Taekwondo hosted a tournament Saturday at the Fitzgerald Gym at Queens College. The all-day tournament had 827 participants from all the Ultimate Champion’s 37 studios in the region. The tournament’s contenders ranged in age from 3 to 50 years old competing in 14 rings with their master instructor’s help.
Students at the Flushing martial arts studio, located at 141-20 Northern Blvd., raised $15,000 for Island Harvest, a food bank based in Long Island. The money will be used to help the victims of the recent hurricanes.
Michael Ro, head master at Flushing Ultimate Champions Taekwondo, said the event was a success.
“Our community is proud to generate positive energy and help those in need,” Ro said. “We really appreciate all the support of our extended family of students, parents, instructors, and neighbors.”
Ultimate Champions Taekwondo studio has been in Flushing since 1988. The martial arts studio now has 37 locations in Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island and is a member of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce.
Ro said 100 percent of the proceeds will go to those affected by the hurricanes. An Island Harvest representative came to the gym and presented a huge check to encourage the kids, Ro said.
Ultimate Champions usually holds a tournament once a year and they are usually an opportunity give back to the community, he said. The studio was referred to Island Harvest by one of its counselors and the studio saw it as a worthy cause because of the carnage left behind by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Ro said Ultimate Champions Taekwondo has previously donated a total of $100,000 to multiple organizations and causes, including St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the American Cancer Society, to help raise breast cancer awareness.
“We want to support those causes because they’re important and help the community,” he said. “We try to do something different every year.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart