The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

September 21, 2013

Former boxing champ to speak at fundraiser

JOHNSTOWN — One of the most exciting and well liked fighters of the 1980s, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, will be the guest speaker for Westmont Family Counseling Ministries annual fundraising dinner.

Organizers of the event are excited about adding some extra punch in celebrating its 25th anniversary of providing emotional and psychological care to individuals, couples and families.

“I never realized there were so many boxing fans in the area who have expressed interest about attending the dinner and never heard of our organization,” said Susan Stem, chairwoman of the annual dinner and ministry board member.

The ministry will hold its annual dinner Oct. 2 at Sunnehanna Country Club, 1000 Sunnehanna Drive in Westmont.

The event will begin with a cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30.

“This is our most important fundraiser and helps support our efforts to provide services to people who may not otherwise be able to provide for themselves,” Stem said.

Adelle Picking, ministry board member, said the theme for this year’s event is “Overcoming Adversity.”

“If we didn’t provide these vital services, so many people would fall through the cracks and miss the opportunity to get help,” Picking said.

Fighting out of Youngstown, Ohio, Mancini, a former lightweight boxing champion, endeared himself to boxing fans not only with his face-first style, but with the story of his relationship with his father, Lenny.

“His father was a championship contender but never got the opportunity because he was wounded in World War II,” Stem said. “But at 8 years old, young Ray set a goal to one day become a champion, which he did.”

Mancini had inherited the legendary “Boom Boom” nickname from his father.

When Mancini’s final appearance in the ring took place when he retired in 1992, his record stood at 29 wins from 34 matches. Of those wins, 23 had been secured by knockouts. He earned the Lightweight World Champion title in 1982 and held on to it through 1984. Many said that he won the title as much for himself as for his family’s honor.

A book that was written about his life, “The Good Son,” was released in September, and an award-winning movie documentary also was produced.

“Anyone familiar with Ray’s story knows he has overcome a lot of adversity in his own life,” said Stem.

Mancini, now residing in Los Angeles, is championing the ministry’s cause because members of his own family have had to deal with depression issues, so he understands the impact it can have on individuals and families.

The nonprofit, founded in October 1988 as a mission outreach program of Westmont Presbyterian Church, will hold its largest fundraising event to mark the occasion.

Tickets are $45 per person and $70 per person to attend the private reception with Mancini.

“The private reception will be held in the President’s Room at Sunnehanna, where champagne punch and light hors d’oeuvres will be served,” Stem said. “Those attending will have a chance to mingle from 5 to 6 (p.m.) and meet Ray.”

The deadine for reservations is Tuesday.

Stem said last year WFCM helped over 400 people from Cambria, Somerset, Bedford, Indiana and Westmoreland counties.

Its mission is to provide professional counseling services and resources based on Christian values of caring and compassion to those seeking emotional and relational wholeness.

A nonprofit organization, the counseling ministry depends on the mission projects of several churches, individuals, companies and the annual fundraising dinner.

Tom Lavis covers Features for the Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter.com/Tom LavisTD.

If you go

What: Fundraising dinner for Westmont Family Counseling Ministries.

Where: Sunnehanna Country Club, 1000 Sunnehanna Drive, Westmont.

When: 5:30 p.m. Oct. 2.

Tickets: Call 536-0798.

Cost: $45 per person or $70 per person to attend a private reception with guest speaker, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • naacp1 VIDEO | NAACP honors Heritage Leaders

    Bertha Hill of downtown Johnstown was in her late 30s when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. From her birth and throughout her formative years, Jim Crow laws were in effect, barring her and other African-American citizens from becoming equal members of U.S. society.
    She now lives in a drastically different world.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • WWI mon28 100th anniversary of World War I

    No American veterans are still alive to provide firsthand accounts of the brutality and heroism displayed during World War I.

    July 27, 2014 4 Photos

  • coal1 Exporting pollution: U.S. energy producers sending dirty coal abroad

    As the Obama administration weans the U.S. off dirty fuels blamed for global warming, energy companies have been sending more of America’s unwanted energy leftovers to other parts of the world where they could create even more pollution.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rising costs for pensions keep schools struggling

    Gov. Tom Corbett is ratcheting up pressure on the Legislature to reform the state’s pension system by focusing on how often school districts use tax increases to offset costs.

    July 27, 2014

  • camp cadet Recruits put through paces at Camp Cadet

    A row of young teens stood tall and attentive Sunday as their instructor paced past, barking out marching orders.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Luksik, Peg Independent hopefuls may widen gubernatorial field

    Just when Pennsylvania voters were getting used to the idea of a gubernatorial election showdown between Republican incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, other hopefuls may soon be joining the fray. Johnstown resident Peg Luksik, who twice ran for governor as the Constitutional Party nominee, knows what it's like.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storm sparks reports of lightning strikes

    A fast-moving rainstorm generated reports of lightning strikes throughout parts of southern Cambria County early Sunday evening.

    July 27, 2014

  • pow28 Mount Olive church members reach out to those in need

    The members of Mount Olive United Methodist Church mark their faith by using a tape measure.
    The mission team of the Sidman area church uses tools such as tape measures to complete construction and repair projects to improve life for people in need and to help nonprofit organizations.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kernville Reunion will recall days gone by

    The 37th annual Kernville Reunion will start at noon Aug. 9 at Lorain Borough Park, 503 Green Valley St., and organizers are hopeful it’ll attract current and former area residents, especially people who attended Joseph Johns Junior High School.

    July 27, 2014

  • Scaife remembered for strong convictions

    At a weekend memorial service, publisher Richard Mellon Scaife was remembered by the archbishop of Washington as someone who had the courage to stand “for things that mattered.”

    July 27, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads