Athletes often try to give back to their hometowns whenever possible, and the efforts of one former boxing great helping the elderly are being applauded in a unanimous decision around Detroit.
According to the Detroit Free Press, boxing legend Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, also known as The Motor City Cobra, has teamed up with longtime friend Carl Smith to help folks in their hometown prepare for the winter weather.
Hearns and Smith distributed over 500 brand new winter hats, gloves, and socks to residents of Southfield, MI, age 60 and over. The charity event took place at the city’s Parks and Recreation Building on Dec. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“The idea is something that Carl and Thomas Hearns came up with to do something for the senior citizens,” said Smith’s wife Susan, who helped to organize the event.
“Everybody loves the kids and everybody does stuff for the kids, but nobody ever thinks about the senior citizens,” Susan added.
More than 500 bags of new winter clothing was given away during the event, and all Southfield residents had to do was show a valid driver’s license or state identification.
In the midst of a surprisingly-mild winter, it was no surprise that many Detroit natives forewent the donations and showed up just to meet the local boxing legend. Hearns, 57, is an International Boxing Hall of Fame member who won eight world titles in his career.
While the weather remains fairly warm and humid, Detroit residents may want to keep their t-shirts and other lightweight clothing handy — or at the very least avoid changing their linen sheets to flannel ones for now.
According to the New York Times, the unseasonable weather has had an unfavorable impact on many proprietors of cold-weather clothing. Stuart Greenberg, a seller of luxury furs in New York City, said that sales this winter are lower than ever before.
“These days, we wake up and we look at the 10-day forecast to see whether we’re going to do business or not,” Greenberg said. “I’ve been in the business 20 years, and I haven’t seen a December like this. I have to hire a meteorologist here.”
Despite the odd weather forecast for this time of year, Hearns’ generosity cannot be overlooked. In addition to the winter clothing that was given away, Hearn and Smith also arranged for Shield’s Pizza to provide 20 large pizzas for the event.
Susan Smith also said that her husband and Hearns plan for this to become an annual event, and they’re excited to give back to the Southfield community once again next year, regardless of how the weather pans out.