WESTFIELD, NJ — “Remember Everyone Deployed.” It’s what the “RED” in BrawlHouse’s recent RED Out stands for, and it’s what the Mountainside gym’s athletes, coaches and staff did that day when they wore red and collected items to send to American troops.
According to David Martin, who co-owns BrawlHouse with fellow Westfield resident Christopher Jordan, the idea came from his son, 11-year-old Jack Martin.
“He saw something about it online and said, ‘We should do this,’” Martin said. Soon, Martin’s daughter, 8-year-old Lila Martin, got in on the action, too.
“The two of them took it upon themselves, really,” Martin said.
The BrawlHouse community was quick to join in. “Kids, athletes and even some of the parents came in wearing red. It was nice,” said Martin.
On Monday, Martin delivered boxes and bags of letters, cards, candy, granola bars, baby wipes, magazines, books and other comforts collected at the RED Out to the Westfield Armory to be packed and shipped to troops by the non-profit organization Bonds of Courage.
It’s not the first time BrawlHouse has hosted an event honoring military personnel. For example, each Tuesday the gym hosts a free Team Red White and Blue workout for veterans.
“We have a lot of veterans, both as coaches and as members. And we offer tremendous discounts to anyone who serves or who did serve,” said Martin. “We’ve always tried to operate with a social mission. It’s so important to us.”