Five-dollar haircuts will be offered at a Richmond barber lounge on Sept. 13 as part of a fundraiser for the Richmond Police Activities League (RPAL) boxing team’s trip to a national tournament.
The Fresh Cutz Fundraiser by John Island Boxing and Development will take place at Dominic’s Barber Lounge at 2200 Macdonald Ave.
Funds raised from the haircuts will help send the RPAL team to the Oxnard National Police Activities League Boxing Tournament, which takes place in Oxnard from Sept. 26 through Oct. 3. The 41st running of the tournament is presented by boxer Evander Holyfield.
John Island, coach of the Richmond Police Activities League boxing team, has received a lot of media attention for his inspiring background and ability to foster young talented fighters.
Last year, a piece in the Richmond Pulse described how Coach Island helped Johnny Perez, once “an angry 15-year-old kid getting into schoolyard fights at Richmond High,” become a champion in the ring and community organizer. The article followed a world championship tournament in Kansas City where two title trophies were won by Richmond boxers.
Like many of his students, Coach Island had his own struggles to overcome. Years ago, while working his way up to professional boxing, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Despite beating cancer, Island physically could not return to the sport at the professional level. He’s gone on to use his boxing expertise and life experiences to change young lives in local communities.