Written by Betsy Abraham Wednesday, 13 November 2013 00:00
Westbury’s Joe Palumbo is putting up his dukes, as he gets ready for the upcoming Long Island Fight For Charity.
A variety of causes stand to benefit from the 10th annual Long Island Fight for Charity at the Hilton Long Island in Melville Nov. 25, as 20 fighters take a break from their day jobs as landscapers, marketers, construction workers, attorneys and more to enter the squared circle and become pugilists for a day.
The first $10,000 raised by each contender and half of every dollar raised thereafter will go to The Genesis School, for people with autism; Long Island Community Chest, which offers short-term financial assistance to needy families; and the National Foundation for Human Potential, which provides support for people with disabilities.
The other half of each dollar raised over $10,000 will go to additional charities of the contestants’ own choosing. Long Island Fight for Charity has donated $700,000 to Long Island charities since 2003 and organizers believe this event will break previous records.
Palumbo’s fight name is Joe “The Limo King of the Ring” Palumbo, which stems from Camelot Specialty Limos, the business he and his brother co-own.
“My brother Peter and I are big into charities,” Palumbo said. “We’ve been very blessed. Our business has done well and we like to give back. We like giving to charities where we can see the money go to work, where we can see where the money’s going.”
Palumbo had no idea that when he signed up for the match it would mean a change of lifestyle, which included changing his diet, early morning runs, and training at Glen Cove Boxing Club four days a week. Since beginning training,
Palumbo’s weight has dropped from 193 to 168 pounds.
“It’s been an unbelievable journey,” Palumbo said. “It’s something you have to legitimately work and train for and it’s a lot of commitment. But every drop of sweat is worth it.”
Palumbo says the hard work is made easier by the great support team in his corner. His brother will be his corner man on fight night and his wife, three kids, neighbors and friends will be cheering him on from the sidelines.
“When I first signed up, my wife asked me what midlife crisis I was going through,” Palumbo says with a laugh. “But she’s been very supportive and motivational.”
The Camelot community too has joined with Palumbo, raising $16,000 in ticket sales.
Charity co-founder Jamie “Fly Boy” Austin said that while everyone wants to box and have fun, the main thrust of the event is the charitable organizations that it serves.
“Everyone is struggling in these tough economic times, including charitable organizations,” he said. “And every year we have people coming up to us asking if they can participate. People love getting involved and doing some good in the community.”
“It’s like Christmas time,” Palumbo said. “There’s nothing better than giving and seeing someone’s face light up when you help them.”
The charity event is sanctioned by the American Boxing Association and participants need boxer cards, fitness exams and medical approval.
As the big event draws closer, Palumbo says he is both excited and nervous for his match against Alex “El Torito the Baby Bull’’ Gallego on the 25th.
“I’ve trained, so I feel like I’m ready and like I’m going to do well,” he said. “Team Camelot’s ready to rock and roll.”
Tickets for the main event are available online. Ringside V.I.P. seats are $195, premium seats are $125, and both include admission to a pre-event special networking and cocktail reception. The V.I.P. reception starts at 5:30 p.m. The doors open at 6 p.m. and the boxing matches begin at 6:30 p.m. More than 20 local restaurants will provide food and beverages for the event. For tickets and information visit www.lifightforcharity.org or call 877-240-7821.