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Richmond kids smash boards for mental health fundraiser

Local martial arts students raised more than $3,000 this year

The annual Richmond Martial Arts Break-A-Thon returned to Lansdowne Centre on Saturday with a smashing success.

Now in its ninth year, the event raised $3,257 with dozens of Richmond martial arts students breaking a total of 163 boards.

The champion of the day was eight-year-old King Sun Pangilinan, who made an impressive debut by breaking 30 boards and raising $605.

Visitors also got to enjoy dance performances by local performers, as well as photo opportunities with the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.

The charity Break-A-Thon was founded by Dean Siminoff a decade ago in Nelson. Since then, it has grown into an annual fundraiser held by at least 10 martial arts schools across the province.

Siminoff told the Richmond News the fundraiser had lost momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic, but is picking up again with more schools coming on board recently. Funds raised will benefit Siminoff’s campaign to battle post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).