Every Year Ishin Ryu Ju Jitsu selects a worthy cause as our annual charity, each year we always choose something close to our hearts and with much meaning and this year the elected recipients were “Hounds For Hero’s” thus incorporating the usual military aspect and also Kevin Pell Hanshi’ s love of his four legged friends.
We commenced the collections with our yearly “Bring a friend” session in all of the Ishin Ryu Dojos – this entails each student “bringing in a friend” or a family member into the dojo for a lesson. This is a great opportunity for parents to see (and feel) what their children get up to and also a chance for the students to show off their skills. This, and a few more activities, enabled us to kick start the collection with a tidy sum.
On the 9th of January 2015 Ishin Ryu Ju Jitsu celebrated 25 years of existence, a far cry from the humble beginnings of 7 students on the mat back in 1990 in Borehamwood. To celebrate this momentous occasion we all gathered – back in Borehamwood for a night of celebrations and partying.
We invited- and were honoured by his acceptance- the founder of Hounds For Hero’s- Allen G. Parton and so the evening began with Allen and his friend arriving along with two of their lovely “hounds”
After the introductions Allen was invited to the dance floor where he proceeded to outline the highs and lows that had led him to be in the middle of a dance floor surrounded by martial artists.
What a rollercoaster of emotions, there was laughter, stunned silence, empathetic nods and smiles and approximately 200 pairs of teary eyes (actually some of us were unashamedly sobbing) whilst Allen led us through his life and the beginnings and makings of “Hounds for Hero’s”, it was then an absolute further honour to hand over the initial cheque for £6000 with many plans to make that figure much higher.
Happily everyone got well into the spirit of the evening with a donated cake (Thank You Edible Elegance) making a whopping £160. The raffle – a stunning print being donated by Nigel Thomas of Blue Mountain- amassed £660.00 and a Military Explosives Day (kindly donated by our close military friends) which has yet to be fully arranged but will raise in excess of £3000. Other auction prizes (Thank you Nicklestick) raised a further £125.00
That just leaves me to thank Allen for attending our dinner, for speaking so openly about his personal journey and for giving us an insight into such a worthy cause. We hope to raise enough funds to help these furry friends make a real difference.