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By MARTHA SMITH
Special to the Standard
NORTH KINGSTOWN â€“ When you sign on for lessons at Narragansett Bay Budokai, youâ€™re going to learn more than martial arts poses, kicking and self-defenses.
Owner Robert Brenner is also going to instill respect, pride and a sense that being part of a community is important.
For that reason, every student in his school â€“ from the littlest six-year-old, to adults in their 30s â€“ is required to participate in an outdoor benefit for the Dana Farber Cancer Instituteâ€™s Jimmy Fund on Feb. 12.
The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of Daveâ€™s Marketplace on Gate Road, in the Quonset Gateway shopping plaza.
â€śWe try and hold some kind of community outreach program every month and this one will be our largest to date,â€ť Brenner explains. â€śWeâ€™ll be outside in our karate uniforms and jackets; all my special teams and clubs are involved. I made it mandatory.â€ť
Some two dozen participants will work in shifts â€śso they donâ€™t get too cold.â€ť
Brenner says, â€śWeâ€™ll be giving out discounts, gift certificates, coupons to those making a donation. Donors will each receive a $20 credit which they can bring into the dojo and use against tuition or to purchase equipment they might be interested in.â€ť
When he first mentioned the fundraising idea to his students and started putting out flyers, he notes, â€śThey were all excited to support it. A lot of them are Red Sox fans and are familiar with the Jimmy Fund.â€ť The team is the charityâ€™s largest organizational sponsor.
â€śI have a group of great kids; they all just want to help.â€ť
Brenner confesses he was starting to get discouraged because every supermarket he contacted about providing space was â€śbooked solid.â€ť The manager of Daveâ€™s at Quonset happily gave permission.
Since Brenner started his community-awareness program, he says many local organizations and needy individuals â€“ including a number of children suffering from severe illnesses â€“ have been suggested as beneficiaries of future capital campaigns.
â€śWe would to raise $500â€ť for the Jimmy Fund. â€śWe will also be collecting at the school.â€ť
Donations can also be mailed to at Narragansett Bay Budokai, 679 Boston Neck Rd., North Kingstown, R.I. 02852.
Martha Smith is an award-winning journalist and author. Retired, she is an independent contractor for SRIN and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.