Haymakers for Hope is an official 501(c)(3) charity organization that began in the fall of 2009, when co-founders Julie Anne Kelly and Andrew Myerson embarked on the grueling training process to compete in the New York City Golden Gloves. Julie was the defending champion in the women’s 132 pound division and was looking to defend her title, while Andrew was competing to try and win his first. Julie and Andrew decided that the grueling physical, mental, and emotional test of competing against the country’s best amateur boxers was not enough–they also wanted to raise money for cancer research, making the tournament an opportunity to literally fight for a cure!
Both originally hailed from the Boston area and decided to approach Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund with idea of creating and sponsoring a donations web site with all proceeds going to the hospital. Officials at Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund were extremely excited about the idea, and accepted Julie and Andrew’s proposal.
By the end of the tournament Julie had successfully defended her crown and the pair raised around five thousand dollars for cancer research!
Cancer is not an anonymous, vague disease to either Julie or Andrew. Julie was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma shortly after college, and now celebrates over a decade of being cancer free. By the time Andrew was in college, he’d already lost one high school friend to the disease.
In 2011, Haymakers for Hope took its next big step, with a competitive boxing event wrapped into a gala at the Castle at The Park Plaza Hotel in Boston. Attendance crossed the 1,100 mark, people came to watch the boxing and participate in the auction and more than $190,000 was raised for Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund.
The Haymakers team continued to build on the success of this first event with two events in 2012, the second in Boston and the first in New York City. The two highly successful events raised $529,000 for various cancer research facilities in Boston and New York. 2013 was even bigger, as Haymakers for Hope expanded to include it’s first ever all women’s event for breast cancer awareness month. Coupled with the 3rd annual Boston event, and 2nd annual New York City event, Haymakers raised over $1,041,000 in 2013.
Flash forward to present and Haymakers has now raised more than $5,900,000 across the three annual events! Haymakers for Hope is proud and honored to be looking forward to our sixth year of knocking out cancer in 2016. Not every fight ends at the bell!