Press Release: Community Gathers to ‘Fight for Queena’ at Second Annual Self-Defense Event
Title Boxing Club Brandon to Host Empowering ‘Hot Ninja Defenders’ Program for Women
On Saturday, April 12, from 1-4 pm, Title Boxing Club Brandon, located at 889 E Bloomingdale Ave., Brandon, FL, 33511, will host its second annual “Fight for Queena” self-defense fundraiser event. This year, a high-intensity, hands-on self-defense seminar promises to bring confidence, along with a little sweat, to participants. A minimum $25 donation is required to attend this program for women only.
Combat sport athlete and MMA fighter Caroline Portugal is the founder of the Hot Ninja Defenders, a self-described “anti–rape/violence program against women, teens and LGBT people.” The program combines self-defense instruction with counseling and empowerment to create a holistic program for women, teens, and LGBT people.
The 3-hour seminar will present common dangerous scenarios, and will teach seven deadly strikes to use against an attacker. Male coaches will help simulate attacks, so that participants can get real-life, hands-on training. They will also learn proper breathing techniques and how to verbally negotiate with an attacker. While the class is only open to women, men are welcome to accompany for support.
Queena, the Bloomingdale Library Survivor, bravely survived a life-changing attack in 2008 that left her unable to see, talk or eat on her own. She and her family work hard every day to help her regain the life she once knew as a high school senior who looked forward to moving on to college.
“Queena’s life was very different back then,” explained Vanna, Queena’s mother. “She didn’t know that evil existed. We hope that seminars like this will help other young women who may face similar dangers, and prepare them to fight and survive.”
The community can follow Queena’s progress on her website JoinQueena.com, which documents Queena’s journey to regaining her life through therapy, faith and love, as well as a glimpse to her daily life. Medicaid covers only $1,500 per year her physical therapy and speech therapy, while nearly $70,000 is required annually for all of treatments that have helped Queena make such progress. These additional expenses are funded through the generosity of the community. Donations can also be made payable to the Bloomingdale Library Assault Victim Trust at any Bank of Tampa or SunTrust Bank.
Title Boxing Club Brandon will also be honoring Queena’s birthday at the event, along with a silent auction and gym membership promotions. To register for the seminar, call (813) 324-8867 or email TampaBay@TitleBoxingClub.com.
About Queena, the Bloomingdale Library Attack Survivor:
In April 2008, the young woman, formerly known at the Bloomingdale Library Attack Victim, was brutally raped, beaten and left to die outside of the Bloomingdale Library in Brandon, Florida. Equipped with an incredible will to survive, she did not die that night, and has spent the last five years working hard to recover from the brutal attack. Queena was about to graduate from high school and continue her education on a full scholarship to the University of Florida, but on that night, her life changed in an instant. Queena cannot walk, talk, see or eat on her own, but she is making improvements. She communicates through widening her eyes, smiling and clenching her fists. She requires around-the-clock care and attends daily physical, occupational and experimental therapies to aid her recovery. The recovery process is slow, but very noticeable, as she slowly makes strides toward regaining her own normalcy every day.
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