Art sales bring in thousands for radio host’s charity

Spider Jones singing on stage at the Believe to Achieve Charity Art Auction.
Spider Jones singing on stage at the Believe to Achieve Charity Art Auction.

Spider Jones, a public speaker and former radio host, is a man who always has fun and eventful times surrounding him.

The good times continued at Jones’ latest event held by his charity Believe to Achieve. The third Charity Art Auction was the “most entertaining to date” thanks to musical guests, Star Wars, and even boxing with Toronto’s mayor.

This event was held on November 14, at Artworld Fine Art Gallery in Toronto. It allowed people to buy one of a kind artwork donated by many up and coming artists and photographers who were on hand to meet and greet with the hundreds of people who turned out, including Toronto mayor John Tory.

“I know events like this are fantastic because people at Believe to Achieve are making a big difference in the lives of a lot of kids in this city, and making sure this city stays as great as it is,” said Tory.

The Believe to Achieve charity, which aims to keep at risk youth off the streets and away from gangs, has been run by former radio host and golden glove boxer Charles “Spider” Jones since its inception in 2006.

Jones and his wife Jackie have been extremely proud to run this organization, that according to Jones, “changes the lives of so many children on a daily basis.”

Doing this is something that is extremely close to both of their hearts as 69 year-old Jones was a troubled youth who had a number of run-ins with the law and spent more than 10 years in juvenile and prison correctional facilities for crimes like robbery, and other gang-related offences.

“I was bad news when I was younger,” said Jones. “If it wasn’t for people like my wife Jackie I wouldn’t have gotten my act together.”

Since putting his life on the right path Jones became a boxer who was inducted into the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame, and a radio host for over 20 years on a number of stations, including becoming a staple on the Toronto station Newstalk 1010 AM.

This year the art auction raised over $10,000 from both the artwork and raffle prizes which included a prize donated by Roger Christian, the original art director of Star Wars and man who created the iconic Light Sabre.

While no futuristic swords were up for auction, Christian was on hand to donate an autographed photograph of George Lucas on the Star Wars set from his own collection that brought in more than $500. His donation was the biggest money-maker among items that included signed boxing gloves from a “live fight” between Jones and Tory.

All money went towards the organization that helps students including some in Durham Region. Jones gives talks to schools on the dangers of falling in with the wrong crowd, and also gives youth across the region an open invitation to the Believe to Achieve drop-in centre to make friends and better decisions.

For more information on Believe to Achieve visit: www.believetoachieve.ca

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