Fighting For A Job For Himself And Other Veterans
When Tim VanNewhouse returned home to Cleveland’s west side in 2009 after a two-year stint in the Air Force, he fully intended to find a job and start caring for his young family. He had married his longtime girlfriend Nicole before enlisting and they had a baby daughter to care for. But despite VanNewhouse’s status as a service veteran, he, like so many other Americans, had trouble finding a decent job.
“A lot of guys come back and even though they’ve served their country, put their life on the line or been shot up, they can’t get a job,” says VanNewhouse.
Unlike a lot of veterans, however, VanNewhouse had a dream--to promote boxing in Cleveland.
“Cleveland’s got a lot of great fighters,” says VanNewhouse, “and a long history of boxing.”
VanNewhouse, who now lives in Lakewood, had been a fighter himself before joining the Air Force. And when he had trouble starting a career or even landing a job when he returned home, he decided to pursue the fight game as a promoter, not a fighter, and to help other veterans as well. Part of his mission as president of Volacious Hype Entertainnment is to make veterans aware of the help and assistance available to them through the Veterans Administration and other programs.
“I didn’t know if calling the VA was the right thing to do when I got out,” says VanNewhouse of his struggles when looking for a job, “but I quickly found out that it was. They really do want to help vets readjust, as best they can, to civilian life after military service.”
VanNewhouse’s Volacious Hype group, along with Song Entertainment Group of Las Vegas, has put together a thrilling fight card for Cleveland fans. The event will be November 12 (the day after Veterans Day) at La Villa Banquet Center, 11500 Brookpark Road, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 and $50. The fight card will include Mark Davis Jr., a 15-0 boxer and the youngest ever to make the Olympic team; Carla Torres, female IBA featherweight champ; and a host of other fighters in what should be an entertaining night for local boxing fans. Part of the night’s proceeds will go to the VA to help veterans readjust to civilian life.
VanNewhouse himself started boxing at the age of 12 after his uncle Charles introduced him to the sport as a way of instilling discipline and training. He took well to the sport, with the gym and its assortment of fighters, trainers, and other athletes becoming his second family. His boxing matches took him around the region and the country, participating in several tournaments in different cities.
VanNewhouse grew into a standout amateur in the lightweight class, and had hopes of joining the U.S. Olympic team for the 2008 games. But he lost a 3-2 decision in 2007 at the U.S. Championship Finals in Chattanooga, Tenn. It was a crushing blow to his dreams of Olympic glory.
Undaunted, VanNewhouse kept training and fighting, and after negotiating with different managerial and promotional companies decided to turn pro in October of 2007. He stopped his first opponent in the second round in a fight staged at Jacobs Pavilion. After that great start, though, VanNewhouse’s plans once again were changed. He found out a few days later that longtime girlfriend Nicole was pregnant.
Knowing the unpredictability of a career as a young boxer, VanNewhouse dropped his fight dreams and enlisted in the Air Force in order to provide stability and support to his new family. He served as a Health Inspector at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., from 2007 through 2009.
After his stint in the Air Force, VanNewhouse arrived back in Cleveland to begin his life at home as father, husband, and now, as fight promoter and veterans’ advocate.
“Veterans are proud guys, and they don’t always want to ask for help,” VanNewhouse says. “Even young vets, a lot of them are homeless.”
With his efforts to enlighten and support our country’s veterans, VanNewhouse hopes to provide them with opportunities and hope for a better future here in Cleveland and Lakewood.
Any group, business, or individual interested in sponsoring or otherwise assisting Tim VanNewhouse and his Volacious Entertainment Group in its efforts to assist our country’s veterans can call 216-299-0910 or go to volacioushype.com.