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    (11/2/2011) New gym received Lowe's Hometown Hero award, Lowe's employees volunteered their time to rehab the space.

    (New Haven) – Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. joined with volunteers from Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores, community volunteers, and owner/operator Devonne Canady to cut the ribbon on Elephant in the Room Urban Boxing Gym (746 Orchard Street). The Livable City Initiative (LCI) of the City of New Haven, a neighborhood focused agency whose primary mission is to enhance the experience of the individuals who live and work in the City of New Haven, provided a $25,000 CDBG grant for permanent land construction costs. In addition, Lowe’s, who selected Ms. Canady as this year’s Hometown Hero, provided $12,000 in materials plus labor.

    “By engaging our young people in productive, structured activities we can keep them off the streets and out of trouble,” said Mayor DeStefano. “This is a great example of how public and private investment can build a better future for our children. I want to thank Lowe’s not only for making an investment in this gym but for making an investment in our young people. And I want to thank Devonne for having the vision and drive to make this gym a reality. I know she will produce champions.”

    Ms. Canady, a James Hillhouse High School graduate, understands the importance of having a facility that fosters community inclusion, discipline, sportsmanship, team work, and social skill development. Elephant in the Room will provide a safe space for youth to learn from certified USA boxing trainers, provide individual training programs and provide access to a sports nutritionist. This gym will serve children from the ages 8 and up.

    In order to realize her dream of opening a youth focused boxing gym, Ms. Canady, a 2001 World Champion Gold Medal Boxer, began her journey over a year ago securing the necessary permits, grants, and donations. In addition to the grants from LCI and Lowe’s, Ms. Canady secured other donations including a substantial sheetrock donation, eight large windows from Anderson Windows and $400 in clean up materials from Home Depot. It is collaborations like this that allow LCI to achieve its mission and vision by encouraging the involvement of other city agencies, the community, and local businesses.


    Contact Name: Adam Joseph

    Contact Email: AJoseph@newhavenct.net

    Contact Phone: 203-946-8200

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