On Thursday, April 13, UFC athletes Julian Marquez and Jonathan Martinez spent the afternoon with local middle school students at Operation Breakthrough, assisting with math skills and conditioning while enjoying healthy snacks in Kansas City, as part of UFC FIGHT NIGHT: HOLLOWAY vs. ALLEN fight week.
Founded in 1971, Operation Breakthrough surrounds 700 of the city’s most vulnerable children and their families with opportunities – to learn, connect, be nurtured and prepare for success. The program runs cradle to career, helping little children become school-ready, helping school-agers stay on track, and offering teens real-world experiences in digital electronics, graphic design, and more.
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“This great support from UFC will help Operation Breakthrough provide safety and hands-on learning to Kansas City kids who might otherwise be home alone after school,” said Operation Breakthrough Chief Executive Officer Mary Esselman.
Marquez, who lives in Kansas City when he’s not training, has served as a regular volunteer with Operation Breakthrough for two years and has developed a great relationship with their students.
“These kids are amazing and it’s our job to provide them with positive examples that they can overcome any obstacle that’s placed in front of them,” said Marquez. “Operation Breakthrough has an amazing academic program, and if we can just influence these kids to stay positive and go for their dreams, then we’ve done our jobs. It’s great that UFC could come here with us today and see what we’re building, because it’s something special.
At the conclusion of the event, the UFC Foundation made a $10,000 donation to Operation Breakthrough on behalf of the organization’s 30th anniversary.
“Imagine what a difference this donation will make for our students who will get to join our robotics team and/or learn how to make pizza from scratch or produce a podcast,” said Esselman. “We are grateful for the support, and we look forward to partnering with them in the future.”
UFC’s corporate social responsibility program, #UFCInTheCommunity, strategically collaborates with partners, sponsors, and athletes to develop additional charitable programs and funding sources to help bolster and inspire the local community. For more information, please visit UFCFOUNDATION.
UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs Allen took place live from T-Mobile Center in Kansas City on April 15, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!