Since 2002, Joseph E. Robert, III (below, right) has served as a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and recently served a tour of duty in Iraq. He is currently a student at American University in Washington, DC, studying international affairs. Joe serves as a board member of Fight For Children. This year he also has the special honor of chairing the 20th Anniversary of Fight Night, an event his father Joseph E. Robert, Jr. founded in 1990.
This year's Fight Night, which takes place Thursday, November 5, at the Hilton Washington, will draw Washington's most prominent leaders in business, politics, sports, and the media for a night of networking and helping kids. Fight Night has been named the number one charity event in Washington for the past two years by BizBash Magazine. Joe recently talked to ExecutiveBiz about Fight Night and what the event means for kids in Washington, DC.
SAVE THE DATE:
- Founded in 1990 as a way to help kids get a chance for the future, Fight Night has been named the number one charity event in Washington for the past two years.
- This year's Fight Night takes place Thursday, Nov. 5, at the Hilton Washington.
- The event features legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, singer Patti Austin, a high-energy dance routine by the Washington Redskin Cheerleaders, and several bouts of professional boxing.
ExecutiveBiz: In case one of our new readers just arrived from Mars, tell us the basics of Fight Night.
Joe Robert: Fight Night is the premier fundraising event for Fight For Children, which is a leading non-profit organization recognizing and promoting quality in all schools in DC, while also addressing the critical link between good health and a quality education. Fight Night is modeled after an “old time smoker,“ which has raised $30 million since its founding. The event features legendary boxers, including Jake LaMotta, Joe Frazier, Jerry Cooney and Roberto Duran, and this year, Sugar Ray Leonard. We have great live entertainment, including my friend Patti Austin, who will sing the national anthem this November. There's also a spectacular laser show, a high-energy dance routine by the Washington Redskin Cheerleaders, and several bouts of professional boxing.
ExecutiveBiz: How did Fight Night begin?
Joe Robert: My dad founded Fight Night in 1990 as a way to help kids get a chance for the future. He boxed at the Alexandria Boxing Club and got to know the kids there who were looking for a way to escape the realities of life on inner city streets. The club was one of the first beneficiary of Fight Night and today Fight For Children still supports this great program that is helping hundreds of young men and women.
ExecutiveBiz: Are you in a sense following in your dad's footsteps?
Joe Robert: I have been to almost all the Fight Nights since the beginning. I'm incredibly proud of my father and what he has accomplished with Fight Night and Fight For Children. When I joined the board earlier this year and they asked me to consider chairing Fight Night, the answer was an easy yes. This event does so much good for kids, especially in the realm of giving them a chance at a great education. I am proud that in some small way I can contribute to the success of Fight Night and honor the tradition my dad started 20 years ago.
ExecutiveBiz: Can you tell us a little bit about this year's charities?
Joe Robert: Fight Night raises money for Fight For Children as well as dozens of other charities serving kids in Washington, DC. Fight For Children focuses on educational and healthcare initiatives to ensure that all children in the nation's capital have opportunities to thrive. Other beneficiaries include Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the National Capital Area, Children's National Medical Center, DC Scores, Mary's Center, Capital Partners for Education, and Washington Scholarship Fund, to name a few.
ExecutiveBiz: Tell us about “Chairman’s Choice.”
Joe Robert: In 2002, Fight For Children introduced the “Chairman's Choice,“ which gives the current Fight Night Chairman the unique opportunity to select a youth-serving organization to receive a substantial one-year grant. I've selected the Youth Leadership Foundation, an organization that serves disadvantaged young people by boosting academic performance, while developing their moral character.
ExecutiveBiz: Tell us more about YLF.
Joe Robert: I serve on the board of YLF and appreciate the work they are doing to not only raise student achievement by providing supplemental educational opportunities, but also to build a strong moral foundation for these kids. I have sat through their classes and have seen firsthand how hard the kids work and how much they value the leadership of the teachers and mentors. YLF is a great organization and was recently named one of the best charities in DC by the Catalogue of Philanthropy.
ExecutiveBiz: Are tickets and tables still available?
Joe Robert: They are moving fast, but you can still get in. If anyone is interested in tickets or being a sponsor, they should call Liz Warnecki at 202-772-0416 or [email protected].