By Mark Scheer
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Amer Abdallah frequently travels to faraway places like Las Vegas and Dubai.
As far as the professional kickboxer and sports promoter is concerned, Lockport will always be home.
That’s one of the reasons why Abdallah, through his company, Lace Up Promotions, made a pre-Thanksgiving donation this week to help out the food pantry at the Salvation Army.
On Monday, Abdallah delivered 50 frozen turkeys to help ensure holiday meals for families in need.
“Lockport is home wherever we go,” Abdallah said. “Lockport will always have a special place in our heart.”
Laced Up Promotions has enjoyed success in recent years with various kickboxing events in Lockport, including most recently on Saturday when area residents packed Kenan Arena. Abdallah, 40, has enjoyed personal success in the ring here as well, earning the World Kickboxing Association cruiserweight title in 2016.
These days, Abdallah lives in Las Vegas and travels extensively to promote professional boxer and kickboxers. Abdallah, whose family moved to Lockport in 1985, said he frequently returns to the area.
Abdallah said he was looking for a way to say “thank you” to the community for supporting his company’s events in recent years and settled on a donation to the Salvation Army based, in part, on the organization’s reputation for success and integrity. Following a recent tour of the soup kitchen at the Cottage Street citadel, Abdallah said he was impressed by the volume of meals being delivered at the site, which is currently preparing to serve roughly 400 meals on Thursday.
“The bottom line is this is just a very small token of our appreciation for what the community has done for us,” Abdallah said.
Salvation Army Major Jose Santiago said the organization has enough turkeys to feed soup kitchen visitors on Thanksgiving Day and the turkeys donated by Lace Up Promotions will be distributed next month as part of the Salvation Army’s Christmas assistance program.
He thanked Abdallah for the donation, saying it is a prime example of the acts of kindness he’s come to expect from generous members of the Lockport community over the years.
“There are a lot of people in Lockport that help take care of the community. It is a circle of love in this community and we’re privileged to be part of that circle,” he said.
Salvation Army Major Jose Santiago, second from left, fielded a donation of 50 frozen turkeys from Lockport-based LaceUp Promotions, represented by Brian Marciniak, left, owner-operator Amer Abdallah and Joe Taylor, on Monday.