Newtown Native to Hold Palo Alto Fundraiser

The money raised locally will be given to a United Way account set up to help the Newtown families.


Jon Keeling dedicates his life to teaching karate to kids and adults in Palo Alto and Redwood City. He spent eight years in Japan, honing his skills through daily instruction. But his journey began in a place now seared in American consciousness—Newtown, Connecticut.

Keeling teaches classes at Palo Alto Buddhist Temple. He instills lessons of both self-discipline and self-defense. This week, selflessness will be added to the curriculum.

The karate students will hold a charity kick-a-thon. Ironically, the fundraiser was already planned, with the money going to Direct Relief. But now, people making donations will now have the option of having their money given to either Direct Relief or the United Way of Western Connecticut’s 'Sandy Hook School Support Fund.'

“This is a bit personal for me, as I grew up in Newtown,” Keeling wrote to Palo Alto Patch. “Teaching Karate and self-defense to our community is my life. I want to keep kids as safe as possible. I started teaching Karate in Newtown in 1984 and now teach kids & adults in Palo Alto.”

“We will be attempting to perform 2013 punches + 2013 kicks in the adult class. In the kids' classes, we will try to do as many as 500 kicks. It is a challenge, to put it mildly. But we will all try, knowing that we are doing it for a great cause (or two).”

Click this link to make a donation directly to the Newtown Fund, but Keeling asks that you send him an email so that he can let the kids know that their fundraising event helped the Newtown families. His email address is jon@jkasv.com

If you’d like to cheer-on the kids while dropping off a donation, the kids' kick-a-thons will be held Tuesday and Friday starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple, 2751 Louis Rd., off Oregon Expressway.

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Jon Keeling December 19, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Thank you all for your support. ABC7 broadcast live from our event last night (channel 2 also stopped by to film but I'm not sure if they ended up airing any of it), apparently after picking up the news from this article. Unfortunately, they did not include any footage of the kids doing 700 kicks. I am so proud of the kids for their hard work. And I would like to thank those who made donations to support our efforts. Here is a link to their broadcast: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/south_bay&id=8925143 Please note that I am also offering to teach age-appropriate self-defense classes to all the kids and staff at ALL our local schools, for no charge. Yes, that would amount to many hundreds of hours of my time. But it will be completely worth it if I can keep even just one child out of harm's way. I also spoke yesterday with my first Karate instructor, who still lives and teaches in Newtown. She is offering free classes for people there. I lived in Newtown from age 7 to 18. Prior to that I was in neighboring Monroe, where the kids from Sandy Hook will be relocated for the time being. That is such a normally quiet, peaceful area. We must realize that something like this can happen anywhere & anytime...


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