National City CYAC: Inspirational Tales of people making a difference

No lie! I was once asked for my opinion of this Community Center in National City and the words came flowing out of my mouth as if I were a preacher giving testimony of the Lord. I said without hesitation: “It’s one of those environments that changes challenges into triumphs. The young people who use this facility not only get help with their school work, fitness, learn to box, some even get to see Live Theatre in Balboa Park. Others have had an opportunity to receive free surfing lessons at the beach. I, like this gentleman, had heard the tales of problems in National City. I can attest to the fact that this area has certainly benefitted big time from this Community Center. At first, it was solely the Barragan Family, later on under the guidance of Clemente Cassillas and his crew with sponsors like the Barona Casino followed by local law enforcement agencies. Year after year, these determined community center directors, instructors and tutors would petition for more and even better equipment until they now have reached the point where they have every bell and whistle.So much has happened at this National City CYAC it’s simply mind boggling. Clemente Cassillas’ brother who at one time was a top boxer and then revered boxing coach at this facility recently moved back to the San Diego area which meant he was again available to assist his brother at the National City CYAC as an instructor. Below we have two photos of Coach Cristo Cassillas. Can you tell which is which? One was taken a while back when he was that intimidating youthful boxer and the other was taken just last week at the National City CYAC Gym after Cristo Cassillas volunteered to assist his brother with the chore of holding the mitts for an up and coming boxer.

Our next bit of trivia involves Mayor Ron Morrison (the handsome dude in the maroon colored shirt) who once payed a visit to the National City Community Youth Athletic Center on December 21, 2018 to honor both this young boxer Diego Luna who won the USA Amateur Boxing Championship in his weight Division. He also brought along a second Plaque that was presented to Luna’s coach/trainer at that time, Edgar Sandoval, a local U. S. Border Patrol Agent.

With all the fuss, what better time is there to announce the return of the National City CYAC’s yearly fund raiser, their 19th, which is known locally as “the Battle of the Badges” returning once again to the Flight Deck of the U.S.S. Midway in Downtown San Diego. Above we have some of the photos taken at the 2018 Show which was a huge success.

We can’t stop there without showing you some more of the great photos which were taken as they say out of the office, away from the National CYAC Facility – excursions from running up a Mountain to those delightful excursions to Balboa Park to see a live theatre performance.

It seems so unfair, but here we are mentioning this month’s National City CYAC Boxer of the Month all the way at the bottom of this article. It is Alejandro Lizarraga, better known as “Mad Dog”.    “Mad Dog” has now reached celebrity status as a “Standout Student”, an up and coming “Boxer of Note”, and a Surfer Dude.

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