CHICAGO — Mercy Home for Boys and Girls has been a Chicago institution for 133 years and has helped more than 30,000 boys and girls find their way out of crisis.
Pat Maloney is one of the organization's biggest champions.
Since 1991, everyday business people have laced up boxing gloves and stepped in the ring for Mercy Home's biggest fundraiser, ringside for Mercy's Sake. They do it to raise money to help Chicago’s kids and in Maloney's case, to show nothing is more important than fighting for someone's life.
Maloney fought and beat cancer not once, but twice.
"It made me aware of how precious life is and how things can change very quickly and dramatically,” he said. “That's one of the things that drove me to Mercy Home.”
Every year Mercy Home takes in hundreds of kids and provides shelter, food, clothing, education and counseling.
"They come to us with experiences of great adversity in life,” Mercy Home’s Mark Schmelter said. “Most of them experienced some sort of trauma that has left emotional and sometimes, physical scars.”
“I feel like if I could beat cancer twice, I could do something to help these kids fight for a better future,” Maloney said.
For the last few months, Maloney has been lacing up and giving it all in the boxing ring.
"He's a warrior,” trainer Glenn Leonard said. “To come back after all he's been through.”
“It's about the cause. I want to show these kids they too can come out on the other side of something difficult,” Maloney said.
If you want to cheer Maloney on and support Mercy's kids, the big ringside gala is Saturday at the downtown Chicago Marriott Hotel. The black tie event has boxing, live music, dancing and casino gaming and is all to help chicago's kids in their own fight for a better tomorrow. More information on their website.