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Break-a-thon raises $52,000 for hospital
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A “board break-a-thon” fund-raiser sponsored by Kicks Tae Kwon Do in Manteca raised a whopping $52,306 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

There were 50 martial arts kids who were involved in the effort, said Dave Tomasulo who is the instructor and owner of the business located in the Marketplace shopping center on West Yosemite Avenue. For a whole month before the event on June 8, the kids signed up sponsors “to donate so much money for breaking so many karate boards,” said Tomasulo.

“We got local people to donate the boards – we broke 500 boards – and we did it in one day for four hours,” he said about the Sunday event that included a barbecue.

Some of the martial arts students’ parents and even grandparents even got to break some of the boards – which about 12”x6”x1” – to help raise the funds, Tomasulo said with a laugh.

“It was a fun day!” he said.

The donation that they collected grew by $50,000 because two of the donors who are relatives of two students in Tomasulo’s martial arts class each donated $25,000. The two philanthropists, who asked for anonymity, are from San Francisco, he said. These are hard-working business owners in the Bay Area who work 10 hours a day, seven days a week, who regularly donate to such natural disasters as the recent destructive tornado in Oklahoma, tsunamis, and hurricanes to help the victims, explained Tomasulo.

He and his wife, Young K tomasulo, plan to have the fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital every year although Dave is not sure whether he will be able to top this year’s proceeds.

“We’ve set the bar pretty high,” he said with a smile.

The rest of the total funds raised - $2,306 – were brought in by the students through their sponsors.

Kick’s Tae Kwon Do is currently located in the former Replay Records store in the Marketplace shopping center on West Yosemite Avenue. Previously, it was located in the smaller building complex behind the 7-Eleven convenient store on the southeast corner of North Main Street and Northgate Drive.

Contact Rose Albano Risso at or at (209) 249-3536.