MIDDLEPORT — The 4th edition of Bitanga’s Breakathon will serve as a “Day of Hope” in the region, with the proceeds from the event to benefit the opening of the Square One domestic violence and homeless shelter.
Bitanga’s Martial Arts Center owner and Breakathon founder Ben Nease explained that “Bitanga’s Breakathon ‘Day of Hope’ aims to raise adequate funds to open a domestic violence and homeless shelter in the tri-county (Meigs, Gallia, Jackson) area.”
Square One was organized in 2019 with a goal of creating a domestic violence shelter to serve Meigs, Gallia and Jackson Counties.
In a video announcing the “Day of Hope” challenge as part of the Breakathon, Ashley Durst of Square One explained, “Last year our local shelter closed it’s doors leaving it’s victims in the tri-county area no where to flee. When the pandemic hit not only was the homeless community left with no where to go, but most shelters either had to close their doors or cut the number of clients they were able to serve. Once we are open Square One will be able to help victims in Meigs, Gallia and Jackson Counties so that they can seek refuge closer to home.”
Nease explained that, “Bitanga’s Breakathon has been a success each year, raising more than $65,000 for local causes since 2016. However, with the unpredictabilities of 2020 we want to do everything possible to make sure this year is no different than the rest.”
With the uncertainties of the ability to have the actual Breakathon event with craft show and surrounding events, the Breakathon is adding the “Day of Hope” Challenge with a goal to raise $10,000 by Oct. 5 — $10 at a time.
“To ensure that this year is no different from the rest and that we reach our overall goal we are asking everyone in the tri-county area who is able to take the Day of Hope $10 challenge,” stated Durst in the video.
Nease explained that the $10 challenge will allow for everyone who shares the dream of a Day of Hope to contribute to the cause.
“With support of this awesome community our goal is to raise $10,000 by October 5th,” added Nease. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the challenge and the Breakathon will benefit Square One in the opening of its shelter.
“Through compassion and kindness let’s pull together for those in need an make November 7th the Day of Hope,” concluded Nease.
Bitanga’s Breakathon previously benefited the Meigs County Council on Aging in its efforts to renovate its new building The Blakeslee Center in Middleport during it’s first two events. The 2019 Breakathon was titled “Save the Music”, raising more than $31,000 to benefit the music programs at Meigs, Southern and Wahama. The event also helped to bring attention to the local music programs.
With the success of previous years, Nease explained that a goal of $50,000 has been set for the 2020 Breakathon.
“Our goal is to raise enough to get the doors open,” said Nease.
The in-person Breakathon event is scheduled for Nov. 7 at the Middleport Church of Christ Family Life Center. Plans are to have the board breaking, craft show, a “Breakathon Halftime Show” and more. Plans are also being made to shift to virtual event should things not be able to proceed in person. Additional details on the Nov. 7 event will be announced closer to that date.
Donations for the Day of Hope Challenge and the Breakathon can be mailed to Bitanga’s Breakathon, 129 Mill Street, Middleport, Ohio 45760 or online donations can be made at bitangasmac.com/breakathon. Business sponsorships are also available, and individuals can also sponsor Breakathon participants.
For more on the annual Breakathon visit Bitanga’s Breakathon or Bitanga’s Martial Arts Center on Facebook.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.