Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Perris Joins in to Raise $50K for P-Town

Rancho Verde High School boxer Adrian Tillman, 17, hits the heavy bag during a workout at the P-Town Combat Sports Academy
Rancho Verde High School boxer Adrian Tillman, 17, hits the heavy bag during a workout at the P-Town Combat Sports Academy.

The City of Perris is teaming up with other agencies and businesses to raise $50,000 for the embattled P-Town Combat Sports Academy, which became a victim of the state’s decision to kill off municipal redevelopment agencies.

The effort got off to a rousing—and successful—start as about 60 people attended a fund-raiser recently, making donations and taking part in a silent auction on sports memorabilia from legends like Jerry Rice and Oscar de la Hoya that raised more than $15,000.

The City is hosting a daylong rally on May 4 to help raise the remainder of the goal. That event at Foss Park on the City Hall Campus features teams of volunteers walking around a set course and collecting money for each lap completed.
 
 

Perris resident Andre Mitchell, co-founder of the P-Town Combat Sports Academy took part in the recent fund-raiser along with Perris City Councilwoman Rita Rogers and former Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Ron Brown
Perris resident Andre Mitchell, co-founder of the P-Town Combat Sports Academy took part in the recent fund-raiser along with Perris City Councilwoman Rita Rogers and former Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Ron Brown.

So far, teams from the City, Perris Police Department, Val Verde Unified School District, Tri-Lakes Consultants (the City’s engineering firm) and Lowe’s have committed to the “Perris Valley Heroes for Youth” day in May.

“The youth are our legacy and the people at P-Town are doing a great job into molding them into the kind of people who were can be proud of,” said Perris City Councilwoman Rita Rogers, a longtime backer of the combat sports academy and a boxing enthusiasts since her days as a little girl in New York City.

Rogers praised the efforts of Andre Mitchell, a Perris resident who helped found the combat sports authority. Mitchell works as a Los Angeles police officer who tracks fugitives across the country. Many come from broken families with no positive role models—a situation P-Town was created to address. In addition to physical fitness training, P-Town students receive mentoring and at least 30 minutes of after-school tutoring.

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch (right) chat with the City’s Redevelopment and Economic Development Manager Michael McDermott. The City donated $2,000 to support the P-Town Combat Sports Academy
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch (right) chat with the City’s Redevelopment and Economic Development Manager Michael McDermott. The City donated $2,000 to support the P-Town Combat Sports Academy.

“Andre Mitchell is a great mentor who is doing wonderful work on behalf of our youth and our City,” Rogers said. “He is an outstanding volunteer.”

Other dignitaries at the silent auction included Perris Mayor Daryl Busch, City Manager Richard Belmudez, Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley and Ron Brown, a former wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams.

Busch said the City supported P-Town through its Redevelopment Agency. Under California law, municipalities could combat blight and spur economic activity through several means, including the building and rehabilitation of community centers such as P-Town. With the demise of RDAs last year, other funding sources became necessary, Busch said.

“They need funding to pay their rent and operational expenses,” Busch said. “What this organization does with the youth of our
community is outstanding and important. They turned around
youngsters who are heading in the wrong direction.”

This football autographed by Hall of Famer Jerry Rice netted $500 in a silent auction to support the P-Town Combat Sports Academy
This football autographed by Hall of Famer Jerry Rice netted $500 in a silent auction to support the P-Town Combat Sports Academy.

Supervisor Ashley said he supports P-Town for one simple reason: “It’s all about the kids.”

“Some kids want to play basketball, some soccer and some want to box,” Ashley said. “If you help a kid good become good at something he or she loves, then there’s no telling how far they can go. The real winners are the kids.”

The City of Perris donated $2,000 to P-Town with funds left over from the 2012 Tour De Perris bicycle ride. Other contributions came from Busch, Rogers, Ashley and Tri-Lakes Consultants, which does engineering work on behalf of Perris. During the silent auction, a football autographed by San Francisco 49s great Jerry Rice brought $500, boxing gloves signed by Oscar de la Hoya fetched $500, a plaque signed by boxer Manny Pacquiao netted another $350.

Several P-Town boxers attended the fund-raiser, taking part in
sparring sessions and exhibition bouts.

Supporters of the P-Town Combat Sports Academy included City Engineer Habib Motlagh and Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley
Supporters of the P-Town Combat Sports Academy included City Engineer Habib Motlagh and Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley.

Adrian Tillman, 17, who attends Ranch Verde High School and boxes as a middleweight, said he’s learned self-esteem and self-defense in his time at P-Town. His grades improved from near failing to nearly all As.
“It’s given me a new passion,” Adrian says. “I like working out and being fit.”

Another P-Town student, Andy Marcelo, 17, a Val Verde High School heavyweight, calls the gym “my second home.”
“I’m doing what I love,” he said.”When I’m here, I am happy.”

Juan Lopez, superintendent of the Val Verde Unified School District, said he came away very impressed by the support received from the City and other supporters of P-Town and its co-founder, Andre Mitchell. Valdez said the school district will participate in the May 4 rally.

“They give children the chance to succeed,” Lopez said. “They get healthy and develop skills they’ll use their whole lives. That’s good for everybody, for the schools, for the City, for the kids.”

Those kinds of sentiments bring a smile to the face of Mitchell. He was quick to thank the City of Perris for its generous and continuing support.

“I can’t think of another City that would give us the kind of love that Perris has,” he said. “”It’s been astounding. Without the City’s help, we would not be where we are today.”