Haymakers for Hope

Haymakers for Hope

2014 Honoree

Philanthropist

Haymakers for Hope is a non-profit organization that uses the sport of boxing to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. Founders Julie Anne Kelly and Andrew Myerson were motivated to start the organization following personal experiences with cancer: Julie now celebrates a decade of being cancer-free after a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Andrew lost a close friend to cancer in his twenties.

In the fall of 2009, both Julie and Andrew were on the path to compete in the New York City Golden Gloves Boxing competition: Julie as the defending champion in the women’s 132-pound division, and Andrew trying to win his first title. Not content to simply push themselves physically, Julie and Andrew decided to add another layer to the competition — raising money for cancer research. The pair raised more than $5,000 in their first effort, and Julie retained her title. Julie and Andrew found a sweet spot, combining their passion for fighting in the ring with their desire to fight cancer around the world.

Next, in 2011, Haymakers for Hope hosted a gala and boxing match, welcoming more than 1,000 attendees and raising nearly $200,000. In 2012, the event took place in both Boston and New York City, and in 2013, they added the Belles of the Brawl, a women-only event and gala. To date, Haymakers for Hope has raised more than $2 million for numerous hospitals and research facilities. In the words of nominator Lindsay Rogers, “For Julie, Andrew and Haymakers for Hope, not every fight ends at the bell!”

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