The “Night of Boxing” is off the canvass.
After a sparring session at the Churchill County School District Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday at the middle school, the annual fundraiser was approved by the board.
After more than 50 minutes of discussion, the item went to the scorecard and a 6-1 decision returned in favor of the event — with trustee Carmen Schank against.
Churchill County High School Principal Kevin Lords and Athletic Director Brad Daum voiced several concerns about the event. Lords, who received support from interim superintendent Bus Scharmann, spoke to the board and said he was worried with the insurance liability and culture of violence the “Night of Boxing” represents.
“My main reason is to secure a safe learning environment, and I don’t want students to feel like fighting is OK,” Lords said. “My issue is with the culture at the school.”
In addition, Scharmann landed a haymaker when he asked why the item was brought to the board when it was made clear more than one year ago that the 2011 event was to be the last at CCHS.
Tradition was the reply. Although the event was spared for this year (the event is scheduled for late May), supporters said another venue may have to be secured in the future.
The “Night of Boxing” — formerly the “Night of Fights” — is a fundraiser for the Fallon wrestling program that pits CCHS wrestlers and other students in numerous boxing matches. It has been a staple of the wrestling program for years.
Proceeds benefit the high school program, funds scholarships and spirit packs for the high school athletes.
Supporters of the event included the Greenwave Takedown Club President Kelly Workman, varsity coach Mitch Overlie, Tom McCormick, Rob Goings and numerous other supporters in the audience.
Overlie said the event averages about $15,000 per year and helps cover the costs of travel, tournament fees, equipment and food, to name a few. Funds are generated through ticket sales and local businesses sponsoring the boxers.
“This is the only fundraiser we put on for the wrestling team,” Workman said. “If we are forced to move, we will lose support.”
Both sides, however, made a point to note that this discussion did not include personal feelings or attacks.
The area of concern, however, focused on the insurance liability surrounding CCHS if an injury to a spectator were to occur. The takedown club provides insurance waivers for the competitors at the “Night of Boxing.”
Trustee Steve Nunn hammered about the liability saying he was in support of the event, but did not want to jeopardize the district with a possible lawsuit in the future.
Sharla Hales, the district’s legal counsel, said the booster club’s insurance is a lower risk. After her statement, Nunn said his concerns were washed away.
Trustee Nona McFarlane said it is the duty of the board to support the students and their fundraising efforts. She said her son participated in the event and added the “Night of Boxing” is a positive event for the wrestling programs and the community.