NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Inside Eltingville‘s Bushido Dojo, young combatants are fighting cancer one throw at a time.
“I want to help people with cancer to make them feel better,” 10-year-old Chris Fortini told CBS2’s Scott Rapoport.
On Sunday, the dojo held a “Throw-A-Thon,” where martial arts students have 60 seconds to complete as many judo throws as possible to raise money for kids with cancer at the Staten Island University Hospital.
Donors signed up to pledge money — a quarter, $1, $10 per throw — to buy toys, games, superhero pajamas and anything to make a sick kid happy.
It is the brainchild of Sensei David Goodwin, whose dojo has been doing the throwdown for the last eight years through the nonprofit group Incredibly Blessed.
“We have about 13 children, perhaps, in chemo,” Incredibly Blessed founder Annemarie Catello said. “And we want to figure out how we can make that experience, which is obviously awful, better.”
Goodwin said the charitable element of the event meshes with the best practices of martial arts.
“One of the big lessons we like to give them at least once a year … is to give back to the community … to someone who needs help,” he said.
The kids love it.
Besides the fun, they said it’s all about the meaning and the purpose of it all.
“Knowing that you’re donating money to help people get better … you are doing something good,” 9-year-old Russel Moran said.
Another kid said the event was important “because we’re saving kids who have cancer.”
Over the years, the throw-a-thon has raised $20,000 for various charities.
This year’s event is hoping to bring in about $3,000 — or about $6 per throw.