Memories that are worth fighting for

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Saturday, September 28th marked an important milestone for the family of Alvino Peña. The former boxing coach and original owner of Peña’s Boxing Club in Davenport was the inspiration for son, Patrick Peña and several others to participate in the Alzheimer’s Walk held at the IWireless Center. Alvino has been a prominent member of the community and a mentor to many, not only in the boxing community, but to all who know him.

He was first diagnosed with dementia about two and a half years ago. In that short time, his dementia has rapidly progressed into Alzheimer’s. This diagnosis has impacted his family greatly.

Patrick remembers his father as always being the “tough guy” so raising awareness for this disease has much significance for him and his entire family.

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This annual event brought together over one hundred family, friends, and ex-boxers to walk in honor of Mr. Peña; each one proudly displaying a custom made t-shirt that read, “Memories are worth fighting for.” One man in particular came all the way from Jupiter, Florida to support Team Peña. Roger Foley was just a young man when Alvino took him in and mentored him.

Although many years have passed since 1994 when Mr. Foley traveled to the Quad Cities to train with the local boxing legend, the impact of his dedication has never been forgotten.

“It is a great Honor to have been coached by him. Coach Peña gave 43 plus years volunteering as a boxing coach. He never asked for anything; no money, no glory. He just did it. He gave his time, and his money to help others that had less and gave boxers a sense of discipline.” Mr. Foley commented on his Facebook page.

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The two-mile walk raised awareness about Alzheimer’s and how it affects the ones we love. It also raised much needed funds for further research into this devastating disease. When asked why participating in the event was important, Patrick replied, “It meant a lot. We’re going to continue doing the walk every year.”

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