When boxing and black tie collide, Cody Brown and Brad Trenholm hope to come out on top.
Win or lose, the Oak Bay firefighters know when they lace up the gloves for Fight 4 The Cause III, a variety of local charities will be knockout winners in the annual event where social boxing and red carpet glamour mix it up in the ring.
Brown, who has been with Oak Bay Fire for 18 months, came across the charitable fight night during friendly competitive banter at an August fundraiser in Victoria. He decided it was a challenge he was up for with the added benefit of highlighting the Oak Bay Fire Charitable Foundation, which will be among the benefitting organizations of the event.
“It’s about doing different events, challenging ourselves – doing that for a cause is what firefighters do,” said Brown, who weeks later convinced Trenholm, a 16-year Oak Bay firefighter, to also participate in the pugilistic challenge.
“When Cody told me that he would be the only Oak Bay representative and that there was a guy for Vic (Fire) that wanted to fight, I decided I would step into the ring as well. It will also be more fun for both of us to have partners throughout training,” Trenholm said.
Neither have boxed, but are enjoying the added workouts both at Studio 4 Athletics, a sponsor of the event, and with friends.
“We have our own work fitness we have to do for our job,” Brown said. “On top of that we’re adding more in-depth cardio and boxing-specific training.”
“We’re leading up to sparring,” Trenholm added with a laugh.
Most of the 24 local personalities that will battle in front of an audience of more than 1,000 people are also new to the sport. Organizers tend to play up themes of industry versus industry or friend versus friend, so don’t be surprised if the OBFD vs. VFD jesting becomes reality on Nov. 22.
It’s just another cause where ‘rival’ departments come together.
Brown and Trenholm are among several Greater Victoria firefighters who enjoy acting out a bit of Kris Kringle come Christmas; and delivering hampers for CFAX Santa’s Anonymous is a favourite winter cause for both men.
“A lot of times in our work you see and do things that are not a lot of fun. This makes people smile,” Brown said.
“It’s a tangible act,” added Trenholm. “You can actually see it helping families.”
Fight 4 The Cause is Boxing BC sanctioned as a ‘social’ boxing event slated for Nov. 22 in Carson Hall at The Fairmont Empress Hotel.
“I’m excited to be part of a different type of fundraising opportunity,” said Trenholm. “It’s a unique event, which also allows us to flex the Oak Bay Fire Department Charitable Foundation’s muscles in a new environment.”
Each fighter must get sponsorship and seeks donations. Learn more about the local fire department charity at oakbayfirefighters.com or how to sponsor a fighter online at at fight4thecause.ca