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Boxing trainer’s foundation seeks to help kids

Stacy M. Brown | 8/2/2013, 6:18 a.m.
The Mack Lewis Foundation will host a back to school celebration on Saturday, August 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 913 North Bond Street. Courtesy photo

Mack Lewis packed a punch that could knock out a bear. However, the boxer who became a famed trainer was the pride of Baltimore because of the way he helped others navigate the pathways of life. Now, three years after the death of the ring legend, help is still available in Lewis’ name.

The Mack Lewis Foundation will hold a back to school giveaway on Saturday, August 10, 2013 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 913 North Bond Street in Baltimore.

The organization is seeking to give away back to school items, such as notebooks, pencils, and other tools, to children while providing boxing demonstrations and a health seminar.

Free food and music will also be included in the event, which will also serve as a prelude to the launch of the foundation’s after school reading and writing program that will be available to students between eight and 12 years old in the fall.

A Charm City native, Lewis attended Douglass High School. He played college football at Morgan State University, where he was a member of the 1940 undefeated championship team.

Lewis, who died in 2010 at the age of 92, began boxing while serving in World War II. An ear injury led doctors to advise Lewis to quit the sport and he went on to become a top boxing trainer, opening up his famous Eager Street Gym.

After 50 years in boxing, Lewis’ most prolific achievement occurred in 1994 when he guided Randallstown resident Vincent Pettway to the IBF Junior Middleweight title.

“If he said something didn’t hurt, it didn’t hurt, even if you knew it hurt,” Pettway said. “He was always such a great trainer and a great promoter and actually wanted to put on a match for the local senior center.”

Pettway believes that there are countless numbers of boxers who Lewis helped to keep focused and out of trouble, and many owe their careers and maybe even their lives to him.

“He was a very disciplined man who showed me how to give and get respect,” Pettway said. “But, when we’d leave, he would always say, ‘You are on your own, son.’”

For more information about the Mack Lewis Foundation or to make a donation, call Eddie Tombs at 443-636-5498 or Vincent Pettway at 443-804-8906.