Fundraiser for Teen at WBC Museum
The local boxing community came together in a strong show of support for an ailing teen and granddaughter of fighter Jose Pimentel (brother of Jesus Pimentel).
This special “Fight for Sight” fundraising event took place this month at the World Boxing Council (WBC) Legends of Boxing Museum (Jaime Ochoa, Angel Ochoa, Dr. Harry Hwang) on the grounds of the American Sports University in San Bernardino, Calif. Here is my special report about the championship event with over $2,100 raised for Missy!
The honoree of the day was Adriana (“Missy”) Padilla, 16, who is blind in her left eye with tumors on both optic nerves now threatening her remaining sight in her right eye. Missy was with her parents Peter and Karen Picone (Jose Pimentel’s daughter) and younger sisters Brooklyn and Bailey. This fundraiser was the brainchild of Linda and Bill Young (National Boxing Hall of Fame). Missy will need future treatment, a guide dog and the family needs assistance with these soaring costs to help the teenager. Peter Picone will be deployed soon and Missy’s mom Karen has had to quit her job to help care for Missy.
The boxers wanted to be in Missy’s corner during her courageous fight. In attendance were current boxers Isaac Zarate, Prince Tiger Smalls, Emanuel Medina, Victor Castro, Edwin Sandoval, Mulapi Enjani, Michael Vazquez, veteran fighters/champs Israel Vazquez, Jesus Pimentel, Bobby Chacon, Tiger Smalls, Rodolfo Gonzalez, John Montes, Herman Montes, author/historian Gene Aguilera, actor/boxer Abel Fernandez, WBC’s Rudy Tellez and Mo Noor, Supreme Boxing’s Nancy Rodriguez and Jennifer Arredondo, Larry and Elsa Montalvo (Golden State Boxers Association) and more.
Emcee Bill Young introduced each VIP guest and brought the champs and boxers up to the microphone for conversations. During the gathering, guests enjoyed food and a live performance with Drew Young and the Walking Phoenixes, a prize raffle and auction as well. There was also a moving awards ceremony with popular champ Israel “El Magnifico” Vazquez and WBC’s Mo Noor as Missy was officially proclaimed a “World Boxing Council (WBC) Honorary Lifetime Champion.”
Missy and her family told me they were blown away by this impressive show of support. The teen enjoyed meeting the prizefighters and also got a chance to hold a championship belt.
I spoke to the “young guns” group of sluggers (Isaac Zarate, Manny Medina, Edwin Sandoval and Michael Vazquez) who all took time from their training camps to come out and support this young girl. While they had never met her, the guys told me they were moved by her story and knew they wanted to be there for her. Phoenix’s Victor “El Niño” Castro and manager Jesse Martinez took a break from their busy schedule to represent. Castro had a fight just six days after this “Fight for Sight” bash but Team El Niño still took time to be there.
And all the guests showed their support by buying raffle tickets and bidding on the grand prize of a specially-designed framed art poster (Heczar Designs) of Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao.
While visiting with the team of young fighters, I witnessed many acts of kindness and generosity within the group.
One raffle prize winner was up-and-coming young prospect Edwin Sandoval. The 21-year-old won a gift basket and when he claimed his prize, he promptly walked over to Missy’s little sisters and handed them the prize as a gift. Edwin told me he enjoys giving back to others and it was an honor to be able to do so. During his introduction in front of the crowd, the boxer and aspiring singer also sang a tune.
Another prizefighter who impressed me with their spirit of giving was southpaw Emanuel Medina. He bought $60 of raffle tickets and handed them out to youngsters and teens in the crowd. He did it quietly and on the down low but I noticed his reaction when certain kids and teens won a prize and it was only then he explained he had given them raffle tickets. I noticed his reaction when was delighted the tickets he gave them were winning ones and it was a highlight of the day. The fighter (and son of trainer Clemente Medina) also took part in a spirited bid for the coveted May-Pac poster. With a winning bid of $120, Manny was the winner of the artwork.
And Missy and her family really felt the love and support of everyone. At the end of the day, they told me how much it meant to them that total strangers would open up their hearts (and wallets) to help this innocent girl in need. There was also an emotional prayers session right before the event ended.
And in other impressive gestures of support, Linda Young mentioned to me that the WBC’s Mauricio Sulaiman was going to donate a guide dog for Missy in another huge wave of generosity. The Youngs were overjoyed to have such a nice show of support by the boxing community.
“Karen (Missy’s mom) and I talked at the last California Boxing Hall of Fame event,” Linda told me. “It’s been a really a tough time for the family. So I reached out to her and said we can do a concert. About a month ago we said let’s get a fundraiser going.” So Linda and Bill Young’s son, Drew, and his band were happy to perform live at this April function.
And the star of the show and champ of the day was little Missy herself. Everyone wanted to meet this sweet, soft-spoken teen who is bravely fighting against the inevitable blindness. Wearing a crown of flowers, the young girl expressed her thanks for each and everyone who joined her during this special fundraiser.
Please continue to keep Missy and her family in your thoughts and prayers!
Photos by Michele Chong
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