SAN ANTONIO — A local youth boxing gym home to a program focused on keeping San Antonio kids out of trouble is facing more trouble of its own, forced to contend with a second tragedy in  just four months. 

Back in March, one of the buildings was destroyed by a fire, an incident that eventually led to the arrests of two people on charges of arson.

As the Advocates Youth Boxing Program was trying to rebuild, they returned from their Fourth of July holiday break to find their gym cleared out.

“It’s costly," volunteer Dolores Sotomayor said. “We can only do so much."

According to the police report, officers believed the burglar may have broken in from a side door and took off with thousands of dollars' worth of equipment. But without security cameras, police and the boxing gym staff have no leads. 

Luckily, the gym had some punching bags in storage, but this setback hurts the five boxers who were planning to participate in a competition later this month. 

“I’m still praying like, 'Come on, Lord, please help us,'" Sotomayor said. "We don’t want to let the kids down.”

Charlie Mata opened the gym 42 years ago with a goal off keeping teens off the streets, instead instilling them life principals through sport. 

"We cannot give up on our mission," Mata said. “And the kids need this place, there’s no question about it.”

Mata pleaded with the community for help to keep the program alive, specifying it is in need of volunteers and boxing equipment, including gloves. The gym, located at 1600 Buena Vista, is planning to hold an on-site fundraiser this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to start the process of recuperating what's been lost.

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