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Downtown Boxing Gym youth program to celebrate opening of new facility

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DETROIT – The Downtown Boxing Gym youth program is relocating and expanding Wednesday, as staff, supporters and Detroit dignitaries will be on hand to cut the ceremonial ribbon in the 27,500 square foot former bookbinding building.

The building now holds two boxing rings, a training facility, computer lab, study rooms and executive offices.

"It is through the generosity of these foundations and companies that have helped realize our dream," said Jessica Hauser, executive director. "And the belief from everyone who knows us that our kids deserve a chance at a winning future."

Founder and Program Director Carlo Sweeney started the organization in 2007 as a way to keep his own kids safe from the rough streets of Detroit. All of the students who have finished the program have graduated high school.

Until this year, the program only had the capacity to serve 65 students from ages 7-18. With the new building, DBG can expand the program to include up to 150 students by 2017.

"It's been a labor of love," Sweeney said. "We started out in a former car wash, and as we've stood strong in the storms, the move to a new building is a significant step in making sure our kids get the education they deserve."

DBG Board Chair Matt Roling said the grand opening is a "culmination of drive, heart, and passion to make education and fitness accessible to everyone."

To learn more about the DBG program, visit its Facebook page.