It was a party for a cause Thursday night at the in Lynbrook at the second annual Wounded Warrior Christmas Party.
Hosted by Keysi Fighting Method (KFM), guests dined and danced the night away in support of the Wounded Warrior Project, which strives to “honor and empower” veterans who have been injured in overseas combat.
Located on Sunrise Highway in Lynbrook, KFM is a martial arts academy that is involved in training both the military and law enforcement officials. According to Chief Instructor John Leabo, the Lynbrook KFM location is one of the first schools of its type in the United States.
“KFM is a martial art that is geared towards realistic self-defense,” Leabo said. “It gets participants into optimal physical condition. We consider it almost like health insurance for your safety.”
Being that a large portion of KFM’s business comes from the military, a partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project made sense.
“We like to support charities that give back to our clientele that are hurt in various environments of their occupation,” Leabo said. “We feel that the [Wounded Warrior Project] is a very honorable and worthwhile cause to support."
Guests paid $40 to attend and were given a buffet dinner, dessert, and raffle opportunities. All profits from the evening went to the charity.
Lynbrook Mayor William Hendrick and New York State Assemblymen Edward Ra came to show their support. Hendrick presented KFM with a citation in recognition of their efforts.
“It’s nice that people have realized that you go to war and there are casualties - they’re forgotten sometimes and you shouldn’t forget,” Hendrick said.
Ra, who represents a neighboring district, came to the event to support his friends in KFM.
“It’s a tremendous cause to be able to come and support,” Ra said.
According to Leabo, the night is expected to raise around $2,000 for the charity.
Although the fruits of the night lay in the money raised, Leabo hoped that the event inspired more than dollars in a jar.
“People take freedom for granted,” Leabo said. “They don’t realize that our soldiers come back without arms and legs. It’s something that I would like to bring more to light and something that is very important, especially considering the severity of what they do for a living.”