In the hearts and minds of each child is the potential for greatness. With the right guidance and influence even children brought up in the most dire of circumstances can accomplish amazing things.
Parents are crucial influencers, but teachers and coaches expand that perspective – building relationships, and a way of interacting, that will serve them well throughout their lives. The kids get to be led, they get to take direction, they get a chance to ask for more responsibility, they get to be counted on by classmates and teammates, and all of that will set the foundation for being a championship citizen.
In a few short weeks some of these future championship citizens will be headed to Missouri to be a champion in their sport – boxing. Evan Wrazidlo, Jesse Walters, and Simon Walters are preparing for the 2016 Ringside World Championships. The tournament marks their first chance at being world champions. The team will be accompanied by Coach Zach “Jungle Boy” Walters of Jungle Boy Boxing Gym.
It’s been 5 years since I’ve passed the Horton’s Gym, now the Jungle Boy Boxing Gym, down to Zach Walters, one of my boxing students, and I’m happy to see the success of the gym and its young boxers – building the skills to be worthy of participating in this type of tournament.
I think it’s important to invest in the future of kids in our community. As a mentor we shape athletic ability but also confidence and responsibility – and that is what Zach is passing down to these boys.
The trip to a worldwide tournament is expensive at over $2000, but worth it. The experience will give these young local boys a new perspective of our country and a chance to meet people from all over our world. You never come back from a journey the same person.
My own mentor, Jack O’Brien, was a friend, confidant, and spiritual council – it is only fitting, that in his memory, I’m thrilled to support these young boxers in their fight to be champions by donating to their GoFundMe page. If you can, I hope you’ll support them too. Learn more about their trip, and follow their progress on duluthboxing.com.
Help them get there by donating here: https://www.gofundme.com/2dvbbmc
I’ve spent many years mentoring kids at the boxing gym. I’ve helped them build physical strength and strength of character – both rewards on their own. But kids, just like adults, need a little more motivation to stay those extra few minutes or push through a tough workout. That is why we make getting the kids to tournaments a priority. The tournaments are a chance to use what they’ve learned in a live situation with the added bonus of a chance for glory – and the title of “Champion”. While physical and character strength are hard measure over the course of training, bringing home championships are a tangible way to see one’s hard work come to fruition.
Two of Jungle Boy Boxing Gym’s young boxers have the chance to prove their hard work in Missouri next week and they need your help to get there. Read about Evan and Simon here, and if you can please support them at their GoFundMe page. A little donation will go a long way to helping these young men realize the reward of their hard work.
It was a great pleasure working with all of the Grandmas’ staff over the years. Brian Daugherty, the CEO, is an incredible person and an excellent businessman. I look forward to keeping an open door for future opportunities to work with Grandma’s in the future.
End of An Era
Read on Duluthboxing.com
About Chuck Horton
Chuck Horton was born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota, and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Chuck cares about his community and the people within it, leading him to focus on giving the Duluth community them a fighting chance, as a mayoral candidate, and now in his current position with Partners In Recovery, LLC. His passion for Duluth remains steadfast as Chuck channels his energy to help the city he loves so much, and his clients, as they work to rebuild themselves through mental health and addiction counseling he provides through his role at Partners In Recovery.
Chuck comes from a boxing family, and frequently spent his time at his father Archie’s gym, the West Duluth Boxing Club. While members were welcome to learn how to box competitively, Archie focused more on teaching children how to defend themselves, an unfortunate necessity given Chuck’s experiences with bullies. The defense-skills Chuck learned from his father stayed with him throughout his life, and in many ways, shaped it.
Chuck’s interests moved in a different direction than his father’s; he went on to pursue a career training highly-decorated boxers once returning from military service (1985-1993). His primary focus was to train clients and better the boxing community as a whole at his business, Horton’s Gym. At the time of his mayoral run in 2015, he handed the reins of Horton’s Gym to his protégé, Zach “Jungle Boy” Walters, changing the business name to Jungle Boy Boxing. Post-run for mayor, Chuck continued to remain incredibly active in the Duluth community. He gained experience working with several non-profits and as a community organizer, getting kids off the streets and to Jungle Boy Boxing instead, where they learned the same diligence and discipline that his father had once passed down to him. Chuck not only found a way to help Duluth and its citizens, but also put the time in himself to ensure that these changes persisted.
Now, Chuck is able to help Duluth and the surrounding area by working with mental health and addiction counseling outpatient clinic, Partners In Recovery LLC. While Duluth is steadily improving, Chuck won’t rest until the work is done.
Immediately following high school, Chuck Horton enlisted in the United States Army. This took him all across the globe, beginning in Columbus, Georgia, before being deployed in Korea, Iraq, and finally Fort Bliss, Texas. He served as a Recon Scout for eight years, beginning in 1985, and then transitioned to a training position where he provided Mexican border patrol with combat techniques to help catch and dismantle the illegal drug trade.
In Korea, Chuck patrolled the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea as a member of the Blues Platoon, and then later traveled to Germany. From Germany, he was deployed to Iraq for the First Gulf War. In 1991, while Chuck was serving in Iraq, he became involved with the infamous friendly-fire incident involving an Apache helicopter. He thankfully was not injured at the time, and arrived home safely following his tour.
After returning home from the army, Chuck Horton opened Horton’s Gym in 1994, where he trained professional boxers, several of whom became State Boxing Champions. The more time went on and his boxers’ experience grew, he found himself wanting to spend more time with the athletes, and provide them with more support than was currently available. For this reason, Chuck himself became a professional boxer, and later promoter, to market the amateur boxers he’d taken with him once going pro.
Chuck later ended his professional career, and devoted himself to training professional boxers full-time. In order to do this, he passed down his gym to a former athlete that Chuck himself had trained, Zach “Jungle Boy” Walters. With a similar passion and persistence Chuck recognized as two of his own best qualities, Zach was the obvious choice for the job.
on to the professional ranks, he didn’t know where to refer them. In his eyes, there were no professional trainers in the area that could do his fighters justice. As a result, Horton decided to go professional as well, taking multiple amateur boxers with him.
Originally, the transition to professional boxing was tough. No one wanted to host Horton’s boxers on their card without a very large disbursement to the promoters. Seeing no other alternative, Horton chose to take things into his own hands and become a promoter as well. Having hosted sell-out amateur crowds throughout Duluth, he had plenty of experience as a promoter. He began talking to the media to get more publicity around boxing in Duluth, and did some marketing of his own, literally going door-to-door to promote fights.
One of Horton’s fighters, Zach “Jungle Boy” Walters, was having a lot of success at the professional level. He ended his career in 2009, amassing a record of 24-5 in the light heavyweight division. Walters asked Horton to sign a friend of Walters’, Andy “Kaos” Kolle. Kolle would enjoy great success professionally; currently holding a record of 26-4 in the middleweight division. Andy “Kaos” Kolle has had huge success under the training of Chuck Horton.
After his fighting career was over, Walters began training amateurs as well. Soon Horton wanted to commit all of his time to the professionals. He realized that the everyday grind of running a gym was taking time away from working with his professional boxers. As a result, Chuck Horton passed down his gym to Walters. Horton felt Walters was the best man for the job due to his passion and persistence.
Chuck Horton ran for mayor of Duluth in 2015, in hopes of making Duluth a thriving town once more. He listed his diligence, experience in achieving his goals, passion for Duluth, and for bringing people together as several of the key qualities that made him the best candidate. Just like his father, Chuck’s desire to help others, particularly through youth outreach, helped him to stand out from the other candidates.
While Chuck Horton was not elected as Duluth’s mayor, these same qualities are what moved him onto his next endeavor: Partners in Recovery. Wherever his office is, be that in City Hall or his boxing gym, Chuck puts his entire focus in improving his current environment, and serving the people within it.
Currently, Chuck Horton feels most able to serve the city of Duluth by his involvement with Partners In Recovery. This outpatient treatment program works with people suffering from substance abuse and mental health issues. As an advocate for Partners In Recovery, Chuck strives to establish and foster relationships within the community to offer their clients as many support services as possible. Partners In Recovery provides numbers of services, all for the purpose of helping clients re-build their lives and ensure they receive the help they need to succeed, long term.
Partners In Recovery employs a six-step process: Connect, Identify, Covenant, Implement, Measure and Sustain, while providing support for the client working through the process. Partners In Recovery’s focus is on just that – Recovery.
As a person in recovery for 21 years and now actively involved in the field, a former soldier, and former boxer and trainer, Partners In Recovery’s mission statement rings true for him, as well as for the clients they serve.
PARTNERS IN RECOVERY provides effective, innovative substance abuse and mental health services preparing clients to think critically and act wisely to better serve themselves, their families and community.