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UFC Fighters Share Inspiration with Boys Town Children and Families

On ​May 21, 2015, UFC Fighters Forrest Griffin, Luke Rockhold, Matt Hughes, and Rafel dos Anjos visited Boys Town Nevada to share a little bit about themselves with at-risk children, youth and families. Nearly 100 children and families currently receiving Boys Town services came to meet the fighters.

Organized by Tony Sgro, Chair of the Friends of Boys Town and Reed Harris, Vice President of Community Relations for the UFC, this annual event has become the highlight of the year for many of the youth living on Boys Town’s Family Home Campus.  One young man, who came to Boys Town with an extensive criminal history, credited the UFC fighters with inspiring him to get back on track, raise his grades and join the football and track teams at school.

Each fighter has a unique story of overcoming adversity that they were able to share with the children and families.  These stories become a source of hope and inspiration for Boys Town children and families struggling with issues such as poverty, homelessness, addiction, and abuse.

Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin advised the youth to “Be Sharks”—to always keep moving in the direction of their dreams. Following Griffin, Matt Hughes, the two-time UFC World Welterweight Champion, shared how his faith in God has given him strength in difficult times.

“The stories shared by the fighters were incredibly inspirational,” said Donna Pacella, Boys Town Nevada Development Director. “It was amazing to see the kids react to Rafael dos Anjo’s stories of growing up in overwhelming poverty in Brazil. He was able to escape the violence and gangs to become the defending lightweight champion.”

“This is an annual event that has been going on for as long as I can remember,” said Howard Olshansky, Boys Town Nevada Executive Director. “It’s a fantastic partnership with the UFC, and we are humbled that they continue to make time for Boys Town children and families year after year.”

In addition to meeting Griffin, Rockhold, Hughes, and Dos Anjos, guests received dinner, gift-cards, and UFC t-shirts, compliments of the Zuffa, LLC and Patti, Sgro, Lewis, and Roger Attorneys at Law. This inspirational evening was truly a testament to the fact that hard work and determination yield endless possibilities.