Kicking breast cancer

Independent local martial arts studio hosts Kickathon fundraiser

By Steve Graham

Andrew Beck spends most of the year teaching tae kwon do punches, kicks and blocks. But this month, he is focused on a different kind of sparring — the fight against breast cancer.

Beck is the chief instructor at Becks’ Martial Arts, which he launched with his wife Rebecca in 2018. The school will host the fifth annual Kickathon, with proceeds benefitting Hope Lives, also known as the Lydia Dody Breast Cancer Support Center.

“Hope Lives has helped many families within our school community with their fight against breast cancer,” Andrew said. “The services they provide, which are not covered by health insurance plans, create a supportive network of people battling the disease.”

Becks’ students and others will tally their kicks, gather pledges and collect donations for every kick completed. The event also includes silent and live auctions and a performance by the Grace Kuch Band. The Becks hope to raise about $10,000 at the event this year, which would nearly double last year’s total.

“We wanted to use our school community as a way of helping our larger northern Colorado community and to teach our students about giving back,” Andrew said.

James Clark is a black belt student at Becks, as is his son Connor. They are both helping the Becks organize the Kickathon, along with other teen leadership students and adults.

“My mother-in-law had breast cancer that ended up spreading everywhere,” James said. “I understand how this disease can take its toll on people, and Hope Lives really does help.”

The Becks first launched the event as instructors at a franchise tae kwon do studio in Fort Collins, before launching their own business in 2018.

Andrew is eager to showcase his new school at the event.

“All of this has been more rewarding than we ever imagined,” he said. “Being at the helm of such a strong and meaningful community of people is an inspiration every day.”

The kicking kicks off at noon Saturday, Sept. 28, with auctions and music to follow. For information and to donate, visit becksmartialarts.com.