Fighting Without Trouble

Today’s blog is from Cruz Solano, a Beaverton PAL boxer, who placed second twice in National Silver Gloves competitions before taking a title in 2014.  He shares why boxing is important to him.


My name is Cruz Solano.  I was eight years old when I walked into the Beaverton PAL Boxing Gym for the first time.  At first, I was disgusted by the sweaty smell of the people training in the gym, but then I grew to appreciate it because it was the scent of hard work and dedication.  I fell in love with boxing because it was the only way I could fight without getting in trouble.  Thank to PAL, I found a passion that keeps me away from drugs, violence, and gangs.  It’s a completely safe environment where discrimination and harassment are not tolerated.  I have been involved with Beaverton PAL for half of my life, eight years, and I am grateful to be part of it.  It has had a significantly positive influence on my life and has helped me grow as an individual.  It disciplined me to become respectful, responsible, and to be a role model for the younger kids who look up to me.

Why Join a Non-Profit Board?

Joan Garry is widely known as the “Dear Abby” of nonprofit leadership, Joan works with board and staff as a strategic advisor, crisis manager, change agent and strategic planner. Joan also teaches at the University of Pennsylvania with a focus on nonprofit communications and leadership.

In other words, Joan is a total rock star in the non-profit world.  Here at Beaverton PAL, we are looking to expand our board of directors, so we’re hoping Joan’s words may inspire you!


“I have a big chip on my shoulder. It’s not very attractive.

It’s about folks who have time but do not volunteer to serve on a nonprofit board.

And I’m not just talking about folks who are retired, are philanthropic, and have time. I’m talking about pretty much everyone who doesn’t have babies spitting up on them or elderly parents living with them.

OK, I’m exaggerating but I’m trying to make a point. Everyone is busy and there are always excuses.

I am here to tell you that solid citizens who are committed to making their community, their school, and their world a better place — those willing to raise their hand for board service — are among the single biggest needs in our society.”

Read the full blog and top ten list here!


Interested in joining the PAL board?  Contact Jules.

Volunteer Spotlight: Coach Mac

Blog from PAL Boxing Gym Coach Mac Galloway

I started boxing at the age of 13.  It was 1994, over at the gym of West Portland and Charlie Rios was one of my coaches.  I went to the gym for two years, just hanging out, but then I started competing, even advancing to national events.

Those years in the boxing gym were very instrumental to me as a young man.  It taught me skills such as hard work and commitment.  I did not have a father figure growing up, so the coaches in the boxing program.were what I needed.  They helped me be the man I am today.

I ran into Charlie almost 10 years ago at Washington Square and he said I should check out his gym.  Shortly after, I walked into the Beaverton PAL Boxing Gym for the first time.  I have been a dedicated volunteer coach since then, sacrificing my time, family, and work to help make the program successful.

I volunteer at PAL it to give back.  We have worked with thousands of kids over the years, teaching hard work, self-control, and discipline just to not make great boxers, but to make great members of the community.  Children need a positive outlet and activities to occupy their time.  It is critical that Beaverton finds a new home for the boxing gym and after school program.

We have produced national champions in our gym, but not every kid we have will achieve that level.  Many may not even get in the ring to spar, but most children are there because it gives them a positive social outlet with their friends and it provides a healthy workout.  Kids in the gym lose weight, gain self-confidence, and find positive adult role models.  The biggest reason kids through come through the door is because we challenge them to be a better version of themselves.

All of the coaches in the boxing gym are volunteers.  Boxing shows in our gym give our kids a chance to compete against athletes from other clubs and raise money to support traveling to events and equipment.  THIS IS A GOOD PROGRAM THAT GIVES BACK TO THE COMMUNITY AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO FOR GENERATIONS.  I believe this is how you make communities better: By giving back and investing in future generations like Coach Charlie invested in me.

We are unbelievably blessed with the boxers, coaches, and the support of the City of Beaverton and Mayor Doyle.  This program needs a home so it can continue.  Our next boxing show is Saturday, March 18, at the PAL Boxing Gym.  I encourage all of you to come by and see the effects of the hard work of these kids.

From a Champ!

Check out our first blog from Boxing Gym member Angie Ornelas:

Because of all the great coaches who volunteer at Beaverton PAL, I’ve learned that boxing is an astonishing sport to learn and participate in.  PAL’s Boxing Gym has been my second home for about seven years.  I began boxing at age eleven.  PAL Boxing Gym has been the reason for many of my accomplishments both in the sport and outside the sport.

Through Beaverton PAL Boxing Gym I’ve learned what discipline and hard work looks like.  Boxing helped me release stress, stay focused on my goals, and meet great people.  My coaches and friends at Beaverton PAL inspired me to be the best version of myself and have taught me to not give up.  The Beaverton PAL Boxing Gym provides a great environment for all.  The volunteer coaches are very welcoming and enjoy interacting with those who want to be a part of boxing.

Thanks to this program I participated in local and national amateur events.  As a competitive boxer, I won two national titles.  This program kept me active outside of school.  I would definitely encourage anyone age eight or older to come in and be a part of this boxing environment.  I believe Beaverton PAL Boxing Gym is a second home to anyone who becomes a part of it.