Who knew that traveling to Japan and staying with a host family as part of a youth ambassador group would have such a profound impact on one individual, especially at the young age of 14?

Marc Richi, now 23, has found a way to turn his passion in Tae Kwan Do into a fund-raising event in the aftermath of the hurricane and tsunami tragedies in Japan. He said he plans to donate half his income from private martial arts lessons to the Red Cross relief effort.

“A friend inspired me to come up with an idea that would allow for me to help too,” said Richi, a life-long resident of Ahwatukee and a Mountain Pointe alumni who has a second degree black belt and teaches part-time at JB Martial Arts Academy, 5865 W. Ray Road, Suite 10.

“If you want to improve your martial arts skills as well as help the people of Japan during this difficult time, then this is the perfect opportunity.”

Private lessons cost $30 for a half hour and $50 for a full hour. For more information, call Richi at (602) 502-5658 or email him at Marc_Ricki@yahoo.com.

Kimberly Haug is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a senior at Arizona State University.

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